Greater LA MS Walk 2008

On Sunday, April 6th, I participated in this year’s Greater Los Angeles MS Walk. Held by the National MS Society, the 5k walk helps to raise money to battle multiple sclerosis.

My wife Nahleen Blake was diagnosed with MS in 2002. This year she was invited by the National MS Society to co-captain their new team for the walk. The TeamMS – Greater LA gives people a team to join if they are participating in the Walk and want to be on a team but don’t have one. Soon the team had 25 members, including myself and former fellow Foe Pa‘ers Zena Leigh and Aaron Lyons. Together, we raised over $15,000. And money is still coming in. (4/21 Generosity update: Our total is now over $16,500!) That money will go to help find a cure for multiple sclerosis. It will also go to finding better treatment for people living with MS, including programs and events that help make the day-to-day struggles easier.

If you’d like to donate, it’s not too late. Donations for our efforts in the MS Walk will be accepted until May 23, 2008. Click here to donate.

Fellow walker Rose Kwasnicki took some great pictures of our walk. (Thank you, Rose!) Click through for the pictures along with my commentary.

The Walk was held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Here is Nahleen and I at our team’s table early in the morning. Of course, I define anything before 11:00 AM early in the morning, so take that as you will. Check-in time was 8:00 AM and Nahleen wanted to be there early to greet team members, so you can imagine how painful it was for me. Pity me. You can see Zena Leigh to the right of the picture perhaps wincing at the super “taste” of one of the Super-Donuts being given out.

Here are the two co-captains of TeamMS, Kelly Garver and Nahleen Blake. Kelly raised over $4,000 for our team and did an amazing job with Nahleen. You’ll notice the purple shirts. Purple was chosen as the official color of our team, much to the chagrin of everyone who then had to go purchase a purple shirt. I think, that next time, I will print my polo shirts for the event and have them available.

Here is me with fellow banditos (sp?) Paul Bushman and Kelly Kwasnicki putting our TeamMS bandannas to nefarious uses. We were later beaten up by Zorro in a series of comical sword fencing duels.

Co-captain Nahleen Blake at our team table looking cute. Note the MS wrist band. The National MS Society has been giving those out recently. We like to pretend that’s really what Stephen Colbert is wearing instead of the WristStrong bracelet. The green wrist band was our meal ticket for after the walk. (Nice Smart Water product placement, too.)

Team picture. Left to right is I Have No Idea.
I met a lot of people that day and I’m terrible with names, so I apologize to all of the great participants above. Aaron Lyons is on the extreme right being more tired than me.

There were about 5,000 people walking with us. It was pretty powerful to come to this slope and be able to look out and see so many others.

The aforementioned Paul took over Rose’s camera for this great shot of Nahleen and I walking with the also aforementioned Kelly and Rose.

Such aggressive walking is hard work.

We reach the finish line.
Once we get set up for editing I’m going to see if the footage I shot that day can be turned into something. Carol, who walked in the Little Rock, Arkansas, MS Walk, had a great idea, which got my wheels turning.

It was a great victory to cross the finish line.

After the Walk, the National MS Society gave us great food. There was also a dunk tank for teams to dunk their captain. Kelly bravely took the bullet, and was promptly dunked by one of her friends.

Here’s us with our Medallions of Walkery.
It was a great day. There were threats of rain in the forecast earlier in the week but the day ended up being just about perfect. But, it was tough to watch some people struggle and some not make it to the finish line. It was a necessary reminder of why we walk. Congratulations to all those who participated, whether it was walking, donating or simply telling others about the event or MS.

Remember, it’s not too late. Click here to donate.


  1. Congratulations! And thanks for sharing the experience and the photos! You both are such a sweet couple, I’m lucky to know you! Keep up the great fight!

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