For the 10th consecutive year, Sacred Heart University Senior Associate Athletics Director for Athletic Training Leo Katsetos has organized a team of Pioneers to take part in the MS Walk at Sherwood Island Park. Over the past nine years the team, Sacred Hearts For Hope, has raised nearly $150,000 for the National MS Society.
Join Sacred Hearts For Hope by visiting the team page and clicking Join Our Team.
“We have had such great support from the Sacred Heart community over the past decade at this event,” said Katsetos. “We always have a sea of walkers wearing Sacred Heart red and it makes quite the impression on all that attend the event.”
The MS Walk will take place on Saturday, April 5 at Sherwood island Park in Westport, Conn. Registration for the walk begins at 9 a.m., with the walk itself beginning at 10 a.m. Sacred Heart staff, faculty, students, alumni and friends are encouraged to join the team, Sacred Hearts for Hope, and those that take part in the walk are asked to wear SHU red.
Katsetos was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in December 2003. MS is an unpredictable, often disabling, disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information with in the brain, and between the brain and body. Millions of people are affected by MS and the challenges of living with its unpredictable symptoms, which range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment continue to be made.
“It was a shock to me when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Katsetos said, “and after the initial shock wore off, I swore to not let the disease dictate who I am.”
Katsetos, who completed his second marathon in Virginia Beach last week, battles the effects of MS through a healthy lifestyles and training for endurance races and triathlons. He oversees the Pioneer Athletic Training staff which is responsible for the day-to-day care of nearly 800 Sacred Heart student-athletes.
“This is obviously an event very close to my heart,” he said. “To see the support of the members of the Sacred Heart community continues to remind me of how special this University is, and it means a tremendous amount to me.”
All funds raised by participants at the MS Walk help fund research to find treatments and a cure for multiple sclerosis. Locally, the money will help the more than 6,000 people in Connecticut who live with the debilitating effects of MS. The programs include information and referrals to local resources, workshops, programs for people who are newly diagnosed, emergency financial assistance, care management, medical equipment loans and MS caregiver and support groups.