A Conception Bay South fundraiser is aiming to raise both money for and awareness about multiple sclerosis research in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The concert is organized by Laura Delahunty and her husband Adam Burke.
Delahunty was diagnosed with MS about three years ago, and says that “excellent” research is taking place at Memorial University.
“It’s been nationally and internationally recognized, and it’s become kind of the MS research hub within Canada,” said Delahunty.
“They’ve done a lot of research on the underpinnings of inflammation and the progression of MS. And that’s been helping people a lot in terms of trying to determine the best treatment as well as any preventative measures.”
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, which is often progressive. It affects the brain, spine and eyes, leading to vision changes, mobility and balance problems, and cognitive or memory issues.
While Canada has one of the highest rates of the disease worldwide, with about 90,000 people diagnosed, Delahunty said MS is especially prevalent in Atlantic Canada.
With no MS Society chapter in the province, research conducted at MUN is even more important for those living with the disease, she added.
Thus, all proceeds raised at the concert will be donated to the university.
“We’ve come a long way in the last decade or so with the different treatments that are available to try to help prevent further damage from occurring when somebody is diagnosed,” said Delahunty.
“But it would be really great to have the research to try to prevent people from even being diagnosed in the first place. That’s what I hope to see in my lifetime.”
The concert at Shenanigans Pub in Conception Bay South on Oct. 14 will feature Delahunty and Burke’s band, Catalyst, alongside Ryan Baxter Norman and band Bucket O’ Beef, and cover will be $5.
As for the fundraising goal, Delahunty hopes it will exceed the $2,000 she raised during a backyard concert last year.
“I would love for this to be an annual thing that we work toward and we make it bigger and bigger every year,” said Delahunty.
“Maybe one day, we’ll even fill Mile One or a bigger venue altogether.”
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