By Jeanne Sager
MONTICELLO May 4, 2004 Theres something symbolic about walking to fight multiple sclerosis.
Its a disease that takes away your very ability to walk, limiting many of its victims to wheelchairs as it takes hold of their bodies.
So some 60 people giving up a beautiful Saturday morning to walk 6 miles is enough to bring tears to Eve Korzelius eyes.
Korzelius is the woman who brought the Multiple Sclerosis Society to Monticello.
Shes the one who talked the Blue Horizon Diner into providing breakfast and lunch for the walkers and other volunteers.
She talked all her friends into working the registration desk and pushed everyone else she knew to walk.
Korzelius says its not about her.
She says there are so many other people to thank, people like Dr. Herman Goldfarb who inspired her to ask the MS Society to start raising money in Sullivan County, people like Rose Raimond, Liz Accomando and Nancy Laterza who come out every year to help register walkers.
But this is Korzelius baby.
Her significant other, Sue Simon, has been battling MS for years.
Eight years ago when the first MS Walk was held in Monticello, Simon walked the entire length of the trek.
For the past few years shes had to do the entire thing in her motorized wheelchair.
Korzelius starts the walk with her. She makes sure Susie gets across busy Route 42 and helps fellow walkers lift her chair onto the sidewalk.
Then she wishes her well and turns back to the Blue Horizon and the registration desk, where shell begin tallying up walkers and how much the event will bring in.
In the first year, the Sullivan County MS Walk brought in just $400.
Last year, with about 30 walkers, the total was $15,000.
Korzelius always hopes to beat last years totals, but it isnt about the money.
The goal is to find a cure, she said. And Ill do this every year until we find one.
MS is a cause that seems to draw a lot of folks out to help.
Florence Goldfarb has been walking for a cure since before the society came to Sullivan County she used to make the trip to Middletown to raise money for MS.
An RN on the Critical Care Unit at Catskill Regional Medical Center, Goldfarb works with Korzelius and is familiar with Simons situation.
Its a very good cause, Goldfarb said. And it makes you feel good youre out, youre exercising.
Its a wonderful, enjoyable way to raise money.
Mickey LeConey of Kiamesha Lake was walking in honor of Susan McClarney, the head of the countys MS Support Group.
McClarney has taken part in the walks in years past, but the disease kept her home this year.
The walk was named in her honor this year, and LeConey was walking in her stead.
She couldnt walk, so I said, Ill do it for you, LeConey explained.
With some hard work, she raised more than $1,000 in time for Saturdays event, one of the biggest fundraisers to walk in the door.
Preliminary figures show that this walk raised at least $15,000, but more money is coming in.
For more information on donating, call the Southern Chapter of the MS Society at 914-694-1655 or visit www.fightms.org.