AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - The Maroney family was up bright and early to participate in the Walk MS 2014 5K, and to support one of their own team members.
"Two years ago I was diagnosed with MS and so we formed a team and decided to walk today to come out and raise awareness and money for MS research," says Tracy Maroney.
The walk brought out more than 20 teams and raised over $15,000 to help fund MS research.
Brett Hipsley, director of fund development for the Georgia chapter of the National MS Society, says this event is a way to help raise community awareness about the disease.
"It is our community awareness event to let people know about MS, to educate people about multiple sclerosis and of course say in a loud voice that we are going to beat and end this disease in our time," he says.
The support from her family, friends, and the Augusta community has been overwhelming for Tracy and her husband Joey.
"Family support, friend support is huge. To have people that know and love you come out and support and raise money, help raise awareness is huge especially when it's a disease that not many people know about," Tracy says.
"It's very humbling that everybody turns out. Last year we had a big crowd and this year it's the same story," Joey agrees.
Nine thousand people in Georgia are diagnosed with MS, and events like this are key to help end the disease.
"We got a large crowd out here in spite of the bad weather. It's always a good turn out," says Joey.
"I think it's great to have events like this that bring people together with a common goal to find a cure for this disease and I think it's great for the community to raise awareness," Tracy says.
Every supporter, no matter how young or old, helps make a difference in the fight to end MS.
The walk today raised $15,087 in total.
MS affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, and there is no known cure for the disease.
If you would like to donate visit the National MS Society's Georgia Chapter website.