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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Litchfield Woman Honored For Excellence In Volunteerism

LITCHFIELD, Conn. — More than a decade ago Kim Fischer was approached by one of her dance students. The young girl asked if Fischer would volunteer at the Litchfield Walk MS event in honor of her mother, who had multiple sclerosis (MS).

FischerEleven years later Fischer stepped on stage to accept the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter’s Excellence in Volunteerism award. Fischer accepted the honor earlier this month at the chapter’s Awards Ceremony and Annual Meeting.

"I am deeply honored to receive this award," said Fischer, a resident of Litchfield. "What a gratifying experience it has been for me to be part of the fight against this baffling and devastating disease. One day I’ll be able to say I was part of finding a cure."

More than 6,000 Connecticut residents live with multiple sclerosis, a chronic and often disabling disease of the central nervous system. There currently is no cure. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness and, in some more severe cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.

Fischer began her fight against MS by marking the walk route at the Litchfield Walk MS site, and eventually was named coordinator for the event. This year Fischer has devoted her efforts to creating a walk site manual for the new lead volunteers.

Litchfield is one of 11 Connecticut towns hosting a Travelers Walk MS event Sunday, May 4. The other locations are Cheshire, Clinton, Enfield, Manchester, Norwalk, New London, Simsbury, West Hartford, West Haven and Woodstock. There is also a Travelers Walk MS event Sunday, April 13, at University of Connecticut Storrs.

Fischer remains grateful the young dancer approached her so long ago.

"I am glad they asked me because I have gained so much knowledge about MS and about myself on this journey," she said. "I would encourage anyone who’s thought about helping — whether it be a little or a lot — to join the movement against multiple sclerosis."

Chapter president Lisa Gerrol handed out 17 awards at the annual meeting, March 2, which took place a the Hartford Marriott Rocky Hill. Joyce Nelson, president and CEO of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, gave the keynote speech.

For more information on multiple sclerosis, the chapter, its efforts to end the devastating effects of the disease and the many ways to help, please go to www.ctfightsMS.org.

3/17/08

CUTLINE: Kim Fischer is honored for her Excellence in Volunteerism at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter’s Annual Awards Ceremony and Annual Meeting Sunday, March 2. Pictured are, left to right, Joyce Nelson, president and chief executive officer of the National MS Society; Lisa Gerrol, president and chief professional officer, Connecticut Chapter; Kim Fischer; and Mike Stacy, master of ceremonies, Connecticut Chapter board of trustees member and morning show host at WRCH Lite 100.5 FM.

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