ABC7's Jerry Taft Leads 14,000 on Walk MS 2009

Ill. Attorney General Lisa Madigan honorary chair of 13-site event
Sunday, ABC7 Meteorologist Jerry Taft leads 14,000 Illinoisans on Walk MS 2009, the annual sponsored walk to raise money in a national movement to end multiple sclerosis. Taft is serving as television host, bringing the event to viewers across Chicagoland on WLS-TV. Organized locally by the National MS Society, Greater Illinois Chapter, this year's event also enjoys support from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who serves as Honorary Chair.

"Once again, we are impressed by the amazing turnout of thousands of friends and supporters for this signature event to bring about a world free of MS," said Chad Smith, chairman of the board of trustees for the Greater Illinois Chapter. "We appreciate the continued participation of ABC 7 and Jerry Taft, who help amplify the message of hope to thousands of people affected by MS across Chicago and throughout Illinois."

Sunday, individuals and teams of volunteer walkers are participating in Walk MS 2009 events simultaneously taking place in 12 locations statewide, including Bloomington, the Chicago Lakefront, Joliet/Lockport, McHenry, Chicago's North Shore Suburbs, Chicago's Northwest Suburbs, Rockford, St. Charles, Chicago's Southwest Suburbs, Springfield, Urbana and Chicago's West Suburbs. A 13th walk is scheduled in Peoria for Sunday, September 13, 2009.

"I've led Walk MS for the past seven years because it's a great cause," said ABC 7 Chief Meteorologist Jerry Taft. "By the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other, participants help people living with MS to move their lives forward in a real way."

As with the walks talking place today, registration for the Peoria Walk MS 2009 event is free and open to individual walkers, teams, volunteers or "virtual" walkers. To sign up, participants can visit

Walk MS 2009 is one of a variety of ways in which the Greater Illinois Chapter continues to play a leadership role on MS issues, building upon recent successes that include: the passage of SB 2917, mandating the continuation of insurance coverage for preventative physical therapy; SB 764, creating an instant-win lottery ticket that's already yielded $1.4 million in revenue for MS research in Illinois to benefit those living with MS; safe high-rise emergency evacuation standards for people with disabilities; and "Circuit Breaker" legislation, providing relief for high drug costs associated with chronic illnesses that include MS.

MS Society activists are currently working to pass SB 1809 to provide preventative physical therapy for state, county and municipal employees with MS and to secure initial funding for home health services for persons living with MS, enabling more people to remain at home and within their communities.

"As a person living with MS, I can attest to the importance of events like Walk MS," said Kimberly Brinkman-Peck, independent Accountant and Team Captain from the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. "Joining the movement helps keep you moving through the challenges, and, moving forward together, one day we'll arrive at a world free of MS."

About The Greater Illinois Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society We mobilize people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. We envision a world free of MS, and move towards that end by driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, collaborating with others and by providing helpful programs and services. Join the Movement at Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.