“It’s getting harder to keep going some days,” says Ruth Frost of Tipp City, “but it always seems like a good idea to keep trying.” Frost is the ambassador for the 2011 Miami County Walk MS, which will take place in Troy on Saturday, April 16. Frost was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1992 after suffering symptoms for about 3 years.
She became involved with the Miami County MS self-help group in 1992 and has been helping with the leadership of the group since 2000. Frost moved to Tipp City after graduating high school in 1974. She met her husband there and has lived there ever since. She and her husband were married almost 25 years before he passed away. Her daughter, now 27, lived with her up until her recent marriage. Now Frost’s daughter and son-in-law reside in Ludlow Falls. “My family is all around me and supports me with whatever I need,” says Frost, who is 54. “Likewise I have friends, neighbors and co-workers who support me as well.”
Although she has never walked in Walk MS herself, Frost has always been a part of it as a volunteer since the first walk in Troy 14 years ago. Ten years ago she became a part of the committee. She is responsible for obtaining donations for the goody bag for the walk and contacts local businesses each year. “The local businesses are, and have always been, very generous.” Frost also collects prizes for the raffle which takes place during the walk. “I sell a lot of raffle tickets at work and my co-workers tell me it is not winning that is important, but the donating.”
While no one is specifically walking in Walk MS for her, Frost does have a lot of support for this event. She has several family members volunteering on the day of the walk. “My doctor’s office donates and volunteers because of me too,” she says. “And my friends at church also donate because of me.”
Frost wants people to know it is “really important to raise as much money as we can to put more money towards research to find a cure and also a cause for MS.” As with any chronic disease, some days are better than others for her. “The walk gives me something else to focus on,” she says. Frost also says she is lucky that she has been able to keep working since her diagnosis almost 20 years ago. Although she does have trouble with her legs and walking, she has been employed at Trimble in Huber Heights for 28 years.
The Miami County walk will take place at Troy Memorial Stadium, located at 150 West Staunton Road in Troy. Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walk itself starts at 10 a.m. Walkers can choose from one-mile and three-miles routes and all routes are fully accessible for wheelchairs, walkers and strollers. There is no minimum age for walkers or volunteers, but all children under 18 years old must be accompanied by a legal guardian.
MS affects over 400,000 people in the US and 2.5 million people worldwide. The money raised from Walk MS will be used for some very promising research projects. It is projected that major advances in finding treatments, and possibly even a cause, for this disease will happen in the next first years. You can sign up to walk or donate by visiting www.walkms.org. You can also visit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Ohio Valley Chapter website for more information and support at www.fightmstoday.org.
Also printed in the Weekly Record Herald on Friday, April 8, 2011.