Runway on the Rapids to benefit multiple sclerosis program

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Models are taking to the runway to help those suffering from multiple sclerosis.

The Runway on the Rapids event is happening Friday night at the JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids.

The night of high fashion benefits the multiple sclerosis program at Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences.

“We see a larger percent of patients with MS in West Michigan than we do in other parts of the state and certainly other parts of the country, so it is a real call to action for us,” said Dr. Christopher Glisson, a neuro-ophthalmologist at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.

One of Glisson’s patients helped create the event after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis about seven years ago.

Kim VanOeffelen said she wanted to find a way to inspire and help others fighting the disease.

“It can often be really debilitating. It’s surprising,” VanOeffelen said. “You can have good days and you can have bad days. For me personally, balance and vision is an issue, sometimes falling.”

Multiple sclerosis attacks the central nervous system, disrupting the flow of information within the brain.

VanOeffelen said the event last year raised $12,000 for the multiple sclerosis program. They hope to raise $15,000 this year.

Tickets are $40 online or at the door. Admission includes the fashion show, appetizers and a cash bar. Doors open at 7 p.m.

———-Online: Runway on the Rapids

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