PEORIA HEIGHTS - It is common for people to take daily activities, like the ability to walk, for granted. But Maria Railey does not.
More than two million people worldwide are living with multiple sclerosis.
The disease which attacks the nervous system--currently has no cure.
"I walk because I can, and this means everything to me," she said.
At one point, she could not walk. Multiple sclerosis has taken a toll on her body, but with medication and therapy she's getting stronger.
"I've got a lot of weakness in both of my legs still. I am now totally blind in my right eye and partially in my left. I've got a lot of cognitive problems with my memory," she described.
Yet Sunday, she and her mom, Jane Kent, joined nearly 1,200 people for Walk MS. at Tower Park in Peoria Heights. The walk is sponsored by the local chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
"Someone who may be struggling and may not be able to do the walk feels like I have legs out there. I have people who come and want to end M.S. as much as we do," said Nicole Campen, community development coordinator for the Greater Illinois Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The event supports research and resources for people with M.S. Campen and others hope a cure will be found.
Until then, Railey says the positivity keeps her going..
"They do a lot for people to keep us going and keep us you know moving as long as we can possibly keep moving," said Railey.
And she'll keep moving until she can't anymore.
"She's got a lot of courage. I admire her a lot," said Kent.
Organizers hope to raise $125,000 dollars this year.
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