MS walk brings families together

By Alyssa Donovan

September 9, 2013 Updated Sep 9, 2013 at 9:43 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Hundreds of people hit the pavement on Sunday, walking for a cure for multiple sclerosis

For one woman with the disease, family is key to survival.

Linda Waters has lived with multiple sclerosis for more than 35 years.

"I think the hardest part about it is just accepting that you have it," she said. "Sometimes I'm still in denial and I probably shouldn't be at this point. It just can make you mad but then it makes you fight harder."

The disease affects everyone differently, Linda has the progressive type.

"It's just a lot of different things for different people," she said. "My problems have been I haven't been able to walk, I'd trip and fall down that was my first issue."

On Sunday, friends and family came out to do the walking for her on team "Linda's Legs".

More than 800 people participated in the MS walk, raising awareness, money and support for the disease.

"30 years ago if you were diagnosed with MS is totally different than if you were diagnosed now and part of that is because money raised has given research dollars to find new treatments and new ways to diagnose earlier which is so important," said MS Society Greater Illinois Chapter spokesperson Nicole Campen.

Team Linda's Legs was the top fundraising team bringing in $6,000.

Linda's daughter Katie Dubois is the team's captain. She said the walk is about more than just raising money.

"We're surrounded by people that are going through the same thing we're going through, said Dubois. "It's about showing support for people with MS and also raising money for a cure and also for new treatments that can make people's life with MS a little bit easier."

Linda said the support of her family has made all the difference.

"Having positive family that won't let you feel sorry for yourself," she said.

"My mom is awesome, when she was diagnosed she never let MS stop her," said Dubois. "She's been an example to me of not given up and just taking what life gives you and going with it. It's an honor to walk for her and we're going to walk every year until there's a cure."

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