A woman battling multiple sclerosis took part in the Eversource Hartford 5K on Saturday morning.
Thousands of runners took to the streets of Hartford for the Eversource Hartford Marathon and for the first time along with Eyewitness News, the national M S Society was a cosponsor.
The National MS Society normally had 600 to 800 runners at the Eversource Hartford Marathon. Their goal was simple to bring awareness to the illness. But this year, Courtney Cooper, of Wethersfield, hoped her fight can inspire others to get active
“I ran a little bit before. I ran 5Ks here and there,” Cooper said.
However, Cooper said it was something many couldn’t see that was holding her back from running more.
“A year ago, I had full body numbness right side from the neck down,” Cooper said. “[I had] hard time using my hands. My legs were very weak and shaky.”
Luckily those flare ups have subsided just in time for this weekend’s Eversource Hartford Marathon.
“I still have some balance issues here and there,” Cooper said. “My hands will go tingly. When I’m running, my legs go tingly.”
Cooper won’t be the only one running with MS this weekend.
“We decided this year to join forces with the Hartford marathon foundation as one of their partners to broaden our spectrum and raise awareness,” Alicia Barrows with the Connecticut Chapter National MS Society said. “Usually we get about 600 to 800 runners in our 5Kprogram.”
The goal this year is to bring attention to the illness, which affects the central nervous system.
“My MS doesn’t define who I am,” Cooper said. “I think anyone who runs is inspirational.”
Even after Cooper crossed the finish line, she said she hopes to keep running in future marathons
“For now, the three miles, the three point one is fine,” Cooper said. “I’d like to do a 10k, but I’m OK with 5Ks for now.”
The symptoms for MS can vary by person
The National MS Society had volunteers at the Eversource Hartford Marathon to help answer any questions about the illness.
For full coverage on Eversource Hartford Marathon, click here.
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