Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Soccer Captain Christine Sinclair Continues to Lead Fight against MS

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Soccer Captain Christine Sinclair Continues to Lead Fight against MS

Article excerpt

Sinclair continues fight against MS

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TORONTO - Christine Sinclair continues to have an impact on and off the soccer field.

Canada's all-time leading scorer, with 173 international goals, and A&W Canada hope to surpass $2 million in the restaurant chain's 10th annual Burgers to Beat MS campaign.

Burgers to Beat MS has raised more than $11 million since its inception in 2009, making it the single-largest annual corporate fundraiser for the MS Society of Canada. Sinclair, whose mother Sandi has MS, became the face of the campaign last year when it delivered a record $1.85-million haul.

"It's been incredible to be part of it -- to travel across Canada and spread the word and meet people," Sinclair said in an interview Wednesday at a Toronto A&W.

"It's opened my eyes to a lot of things," added the 35-year-old from Burnaby, B.C. "Growing up, it was just my mum and that was all I knew really about MS. It's been incredible to meet a bunch of Canadians and hear their stories and try to have an impact on their lives."

Sadly there are many MS stories.

The MS Society of Canada says Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world, with 11 Canadians diagnosed every day. The disease is most commonly diagnosed in people between 15 and 40, with women three times more likely than men to be affected.

The disease, described as complex and unpredictable, affects the central nervous system. Commons symptoms include: fatigue, impaired sensation, vision problems, lack of co-ordination and cognitive impairment.

The cause of MS remains a mystery and there is no cure.

But Pamela Valentine, president and CEO of the MS Society of Canada, says the future looks promising.

"There is real hope and promise," she said. "And we've gone a long way."

Over the 10-year partnership with A&W, Valentine says available medications have gone from three types to 14.

"We're making huge steps. I have great hope that a cure is on the horizon. But importantly while we're searching for that cure, we're doing a lot in terms of looking at the ways in which we can help people living with MS live a better life today. …

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