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For 23 years, Tri-City family has made MS its mission

A Coquitlam dad with multiple sclerosis has inspired generations of his family to get involved in a fundraising event to raise money for the B.C. and Yukon Division of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

A Coquitlam dad with multiple sclerosis has inspired generations of his family to get involved in a fundraising event to raise money for the B.C. and Yukon Division of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

For the past 14 years, the family of Lloyd Butters, who was diagnosed with MS 23 years ago, has taken part in the Tri-Cities' Scotiabank MS Walk. This year is no exception.

His wife, Marg, and their son, two daughters and grandchildren are all expected to take part in the walk Sunday at Rocky Point Park. This year, the group aims to raise about $80,000 for support programs and MS research.

"It's just something you do for your children and grandchildren," Marg said.

Her husband was 52 when he was diagnosed with MS and the announcement was a shock. "He never had a sick day in his life," she said of Lloyd, who was working in quality control for the forestry company Weldwood at the time.

Over the years, Marg said, the family has learned to adapt and the Tri-Cities support group has helped. "You live with it and he's done a lot of things to support himself," she said.

The couple travel a lot, with Marg planning ahead to make sure there's a scooter and a van with a wheelchair lift at their destination, and Lloyd swims twice a week, does adaptive yoga and reflexology at Coquitlam's Dogwood Pavilion and spends a lot of time on his computer and reads.

On Sunday, he'll be front and centre with his family at the Scotia Bank MS Walk.

The family's commitment to the cause has impressed Claudette Friesen, who runs the Tri-Cities MS support group, which meets the first Tuesday of each month at Dufferin Care Centre (1131 Dufferin, Coquitlam) at 10 a.m. "It's amazing how many of them [the Butters' family] come out and support the walk each year," she said.

When The Tri-City News called, Lloyd was at the support group meeting, which has been an important part of his life.

YOU CAN HELP

Donations and registrations are still being accepted for the walk, which takes place April 10 at Rocky Point Park. There are 2 km or 5 km routes available and both are wheelchair- and scooter-accessible. Check-in is from 8 to 9:45 a.m. and the walk starts at 10 a.m. Register at www.mswalks.ca or call 604-602-3221.

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

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