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Bob Gregory, Creating Rituals and Making a Difference for the MRF

Posted May 21 2010 8:00am

Chicago MRF Walk

Bob Gregory and the Johnnie Walkers, Dr. Steve Miller, and Dr. Brian Popko hosted an incredible MRF walk this past Sunday, May 16th, continuing a tradition started in 1995 .

“The walk was a really enjoyable experience,” according to Dr. Miller.  “To be able to interact with MS patients and their families and friends,” he said, “really emphasizes the great importance of the MRF research mission to the quality of life of these patients and reinforces the commitment of the PIs and their research teams to accomplishing this mission.”

It was a beautiful day and a great chance for people in the Chicago hang out with fun MRF Principal Investigators and Bob Gregory—one of MRF’s most dedicated, and funniest, volunteers. Oh, right, and it was also a good opportunity for Bob to raise over $50,000 for MRF’s research!

Bob has been organizing a walk for MS every year for almost a decade, but this is the first year he dedicated the walk to MRF. He was overwhelmed with the turnout and generosity of the 60+ walkers. The event started at his house, went through four miles of Chicago, and returned for a huge BBQ party in his backyard. Everything was “unbelievably perfect” he said.

Bob has also never raised this much money (over $25K to be matched by the Scott Cook & Signe Ostby Foundation to total over $50K). He attributes the huge success of the event to the intimacy and participation of Drs. Popko and Miller and their families.

“Having a beer with the celebrity researchers really had a momentous effect,” he said, “and to hear them talk about how excited they are to be a part of MRF was just incredible for everyone.”

The sentiment went both ways. Scientists spend a lot of time in the lab dedicated to transforming the lives of others, but don’t always get opportunities to spend time with the people that will benefit from their work. According to Dr. Popko, it was a great experience because “the enthusiastic support for Bob’s cause by his friends was inspiring, and their keen interest in the progress of our research was encouraging.”

In the next few days Bob will be posting more pictures and his synopsis of the walk on his blog .

Has Bob’s MRF Walk inspired you to do the same? You could bring together a group of friends, it could be even as small as 2-3 people, to walk together for the Myelin Repair Foundation cause. These rituals tend to start small but grow bigger and bigger every year. What’s stopping you from making a difference?

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