More than 6,300 people are battling multiple sclerosis in Alabama and Mississippi. When some Mountain Brook seventh graders learned they had friends with parents battling MS, they decided to do something about it.
This summer, the students organized a kick ball tournament to raise money for the MS society. Now on their third tournament, they’ve raised tens of thousands of dollars and have no plans on stopping.
“We’re out here to kick MS,” said Harrison Clark. He and his friend Hamp Sisson helped organize the tournament. While the students have fun playing kick ball, they’re also raising money and awareness for MS.
“Everyone can play kick ball. So, it’s a fun way for everyone to get involved,” said Clark.
When Sisson learned he had a friend whose mom was diagnosed, he and his baseball teammates jumped into action.
“I want them to learn a little bit more about MS and what it is and how it affects a lot of people in our community,” said Hamp Sisson.
“It’s quite amazing. These kids started about three years ago with this idea and it’s just germinated and it’s continued to grow,” said Andy Bell, the Vice President of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Alabama-Mississippi Chapter.
“I also want them to have fun just playing kickball,” continued Sisson.
The students played their third tournament Sunday afternoon. They’ve raised more than $30,000 and are making sure the event is held each year.
“I think that’s what were most proud of is that these kids, at such an early age, are starting to do stuff for people living with Multiple Sclerosis,” said Bell.
“I can’t tell you how much it warms my heart,” said Lori Smith. She was diagnosed with MS in 200. The side effects of the disease forced her to give up her practice as a physician. Her children go to school in Mountainbrook and played in the tournament.
“It’s truly a blessing and I just can’t thank these kids enough for all that they’ve done, for us that live with MS and just to help raise awareness within our community,” continued Smith. She says the level of awareness that she’s seen makes dealing with MS easier on her and her children.
“They know if mom’s having a bad they ask what they can do to help. I think it’s been such a blessing on their part to see the kids have so much more an understanding and awareness of it. Really, it’s been pretty amazing as a parent to get to watch that,” said Smith.
“You get to know that you’ve done something that will help the MS Society and potentially find a cure for MS. So, it’s a great feeling,” said Sisson.
Sunday’s tournament was smaller than their first two, but still raised $5,250 for the MS Society.