CHICAGO - Thousands will pack Soldier Field this Sunday for Walk MS, raising money and awareness to create a world free of multiple sclerosis.
Angie Randall, of Wicker Park, has raised nearly $80,000 over the past three years since being diagnosed with the disease. Randall was just 29 years old and newly married when she found out she had multiple sclerosis.
"It was devastating to be honest. When I heard the news I dropped to the floor and started crying. It wasn't what you want to hear, especially 3 months after getting married and thinking your life had just begun," Randall said.
"It felt like the world was ending. There was confusion, we were scared and we didn't quite know what to expect," said husband Bill Randall.
After her diagnosis, Randall made it her mission to change what people think about MS by starting a blog called Well and Strong with MS.
"I started the blog about a year ago because I really wanted to change the negative perception people had about MS. Especially those who are newly diagnosed, they think the worst, and I thought the worst. So it was really important for me to show you can still live an active and full life with the disease," she said.
Documenting her personal journey with the disease and talking on topics from the latest research on MS to motherhood and fitness, nothing is off limits for Randall's blog.
"The feedback is the reason I continue to do the blog -- it's the best part of it. I can't tell you how many people I've talked with, I've met with, strangers seemingly but they aren't strangers because they are in my same position," she said.
Randall also connects with others through Walk MS. She has held multiple fundraising events and participated in the walk for the past three years.
"MS is a scary thing and when you meet someone else who has it you automatically feel like there is a connection, a bond that only you really know about. When you're there you know that everyone has been effected by this disease and there is a sense of community that kind of just makes you feel good," she said.
Randall, along with her family and friends, will once again be taking part in this year's walk. They've named their team, "Team Oscar," after her puppy.
The walk is Sunday at Soldier Field. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and the walk steps off at 11 a.m.