The National Multiple Sclerosis Society-Wisconsin Chapter is holding its three-day, 50-mile Challenge Walk MS fundraiser in Door County Sept. 19 – 21. More than 200 people are expected to travel to the area for the event, including John Haupt of Wauwatosa, who plans to complete a 30-mile version of the route in his wheelchair.
Haupt was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1972 at the age of 16 after experiencing dizziness, weakness, vision problems and the inability to walk. He remembers his mom carrying him to the car to take him to the hospital.
“After 42 years, though, this disease could have done so much more damage. I honestly feel that I’m lucky,” said Haupt, who has used a wheelchair for eight years. “When you have MS, you get to see how it is to not be so lucky. It gives you some perspective, and I know I could easily be in a much worse situation compared to others with this disease.”
MS is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis.
Haupt has been involved with Walk MS events in the past, where the longest distance he completed at one time was 7.5 miles. He decided to join Challenge Walk MS this year because “I can do something that will motivate people to give.”
He plans to complete the 30-mile route option, which consists of a 10-mile route segment on each of the event’s three days, and has been training with three- to five-mile trips near his home in Wauwatosa, Wis., in order to prepare.
He hopes to raise $12,000 and he has created a YouTube video about his intentions that he has shared through an email campaign asking for donations. So far he is more than halfway toward his goal.
“I had to have something to promote what I was doing and something fun,” he said of the video.
“Some people are mildly impressed,” he added, jokingly. “It gives me street cred.”
Anyone wishing to donate to help Haupt reach his goal can visit challengewalkMSwi.org (click on “donate” and type in his name).
More About Challenge Walk MS
Challenge Walk MS is a three-day, 50-mile walk through Door County with a minimum fundraising commitment of $1,500 per person. The money raised supports MS-related research, programs and services. The goal this year is to raise $425,000.
The event is based out of Alpine Resort and Golf, 7715 Horseshoe Bay Road, Egg Harbor, where overnight accommodations, meals and evening programs are provided for participants who pledge to raise a minimum of $1,500 each. The daily walking routes include some of the most scenic locations throughout Door County. Lunch and rest stops are provided along the route.
A finish-line celebration lunch is held at Horseshoe Bay Golf Club, 5335 Horseshoe Bay Road, on Sunday with a “Victory Walk” from Horseshoe Bay Golf Club to Frank E. Murphy Park.
For more information on the event or how to support the movement for a world free of MS with a donation, visit challengewalkMSwi.org or call 262.369.4400.