Team MSAA includes a wide community of people whose lives have been touched by MS. In fact, our fundraising runners, walkers, and swimmers come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. The upcoming runDisney weekend has perhaps our youngest participant yet – 8-year-old Berkley Keene, running with Team MSAA in January’s Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend’s 5k!
On a recent fall break from school, Berkley accompanied his mom, Sara, to the MS center where she works as a nurse practitioner. “Berkley got to meet some patients, learn about how impactful their devices are, and got to review some MRIs” his mom said. He became interested in doing something to help his mom’s patients and other people living with MS. A young runner who started running when he was just 6, Berkley decided that his first 5k would be to raise money for MSAA’s free programs and services.
Berkley created a fundraising page for his “virtual” 5k and began collecting donations from family and friends. To raise funds, he has also washed cars and walked dogs in his local area and kept up with his training for the 5k. While his parents encouraged him to get started with his virtual 5k fundraiser, they planned a secret surprise for his 8th birthday – tickets to the Walt Disney World ® Marathon Weekend!
Now Berkley is over the moon with excitement that he’ll get to run his 5k at Walt Disney World ® with his favorite characters. “I just wanted to help people, and this seemed like a fun way to do it! I was definitely surprised (when I found out I was going to Disney).” Berkley said. “I hope I see Pluto at the race! And Mickey Mouse, a stormtrooper, Darth Vader… really everyone!”
Berkley has nearly reached his ambitious $1,000 fundraising goal, and we couldn’t be more proud to have him on Team MSAA at this year’s Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend! If you’re feeling as inspired as we are by his story, check out his fundraising page and consider making a gift towards his 5k for MSAA!