The award was established in memory of the Petit girlsí extraordinary efforts in raising awareness and funds in the fight against multiple sclerosis (MS) and to recognize other youths dedicated to the fight. The first annual award was presented to Smith, who has helped Team Mary over the past seven years raise more than $80,000 for the annual Walk MS: Travelers Walk. Smith himself has raised more than $13,000 over nine years and has actively worked with the chapter throughout the past year to raise awareness, sharing his personal connection to multiple sclerosis with audiences statewide and beyond.
The prestigious award was presented by
"Itís good to see kids who care," said Dr. Petit as he announced Smith as the 2007 recipient of the Hayley and Michaela MS Youth Award. "Shane is very deserving of this award. He walks the walk every day caring for his mother."
Smith, whose mother Mary was diagnosed with a progressive form of multiple sclerosis in 1998, has been an active participant in the Manchester MS Walk since 2000. Last year, Smithís story was featured in several statewide publications, including the Manchester Journal Inquirer, Horizons Magazines and Hartford Magazine. The story of young Shaneís care giving responsibilities caught the eye of the national magazine, Caring Today. Shane and his family were featured in the July/August 2007 issue and also on the publicationís website.
More than 6,000
Events, such as the Walk MS: 2008 Travelers Walk, presented
by UnitedHealth Group, provide for ongoing scientific research to find better
treatments and a cure. Funds also ensure the continuation of vital programs and
services offered by the chapter to those in
"I am amazed to receive this award," said Smith, who attends
The 2007 MS All Stars Awards Ceremony recognized top fundraisers in the chapterís walk, bikes and motorcycle events. More than 100 top event participants attended. The National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, through the efforts of dedicated staff and participants, in 2007 raised more than $1 million from the Walk MS: Travelers Walk, presented by UnitedHealth Group; a record $304,000 from the Bike MS: bkm/Steelcase Ride, presented by SAAB; more than $39,000 from the Motorcycle MS: 2007 Ride, presented by TSI Harley-Davidson/Buell; and more than $175,000 from the Bike MS: Mohegan Sun Ride. The Connecticut Chapter has raised more than $3 million annually for the past four consecutive years.
For more information on chapter events and registering, please go to http://www.ctfightsms.org/. For more information on multiple sclerosis, its effects and programs and services offered by the chapter, please e-mail programs@ctfightsMS.org or visit http://www.ctfightsms.org/.