Written by Jaime Notzen
Kappa Beta Gamma, a sorority at St. Norbert College, held their 14th annual Multiple Sclerosis Benefit on March 12, 2016.
They were able to raise a grand total $3,583.45 for their philanthropy.
The event, which features a dinner, silent auction, and raffle, annually donates all proceeds to the M.S. Society of Wisconsin. All donations aid in the research for a cure or enhanced treatments for those who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis.
Katelyn Hebbard (’16) and Dani Madson (’16) coordinated the event to raise awareness and funds for research.
According to Dani, Kappa Beta Gamma’s fundraising exceeded expectations this year.
“We were able to raise about $3,500 and our goal was about $2,000. With everyone’s help, we were able to succeed our goals and donate more money than expected to the M.S. Society.”
Katelyn also added her thoughts on the impact of the annual M.S. Benefit.
“I think the most powerful aspect of the MS Benefit is being able to bring 100+ people together for an evening of raising money and awareness to a good cause. Another amazing part of the benefit is being able to bring in two people to speak to the group about their journey. We have 2 sisters who have been affected by MS, so this benefit is dear to our hearts.”
Katelyn Molash: A Sister with M.S.
After dinner, we heard the story of Katelyn Molash, an alumna of St. Norbert College and sister of Kappa Beta Gamma. She was diagnosed with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis two years ago.
At the time, Katelyn was a lifeguard at the Wisconsin Dells; she experienced numbness, nausea, and other symptoms. Thanks to her prescription, she has not experienced any new symptoms or relapse.
Since her diagnosis, Katelyn has pursued life with a positive attitude. Besides working a full-time job, Katelyn has participated in research studies, and her friends have raised money for the M.S. Society on her behalf. She was able to take a free dance class with her boyfriend for a study on Multiple Sclerosis and ballroom dancing. Katelyn’s close friend launched his own “Turning Heads of M.S.” fundraiser, where he raised over $1,000 for research dressed as a character from Mario Kart.
Katelyn finished her presentation with her favorite quote regarding Multiple Sclerosis:
“We don’t know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have.”
Mark Kohrell: A Loving Husband & Father with M.S.
Kappa Beta Gamma’s second speaker, Mark Kohrell, is connected to St. Norbert College through his daughter, Avery (’16). Mark was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis about fifteen years ago; however, he likely went undiagnosed five years prior.
Besides his charismatic jokes, Mark took us through the chronic, holistic, and empowerment stages of his journey with M.S.
“Prior to finding out what was wrong with me, I felt tired all the time- and not just the kind of tired you experience raising three kids,” he said.
With lots of innovative physical therapy, Mark was able to gain back his strength after being in a wheelchair.
“I’d use a cart at the store instead of a walker and circle different stores. Swimming is a great way to improve strength because if you fall, what happens? You don’t get hurt.”
He also loves taking his dog, Peanut, to the state park near his house.
Through all the frustrating obstacles and pain, Mark has seen the time with his family as his silver lining with M.S.
“Through this M.S. thing, my kids have had someone at home with them. My kids all had someone to drive them to plays and practices while my wife was at work. My son wouldn’t be the swimmer he is today without my driving,” he said.
“It’s been painful, hard, and frustrating, but I’m thankful to be walking. It’s been a crazy journey, but it’s been worth it.”
If you’d like to learn more about Multiple Sclerosis or make a donation to the M.S. Society of Wisconsin, be sure to visit their website.