Benefit to support MS awareness

MARTINS FERRY – Most everyone knows someone with multiple sclerosis, or may have it themselves.

A “Fight Against MS” Benefit Show will be held Saturday, May 17 to help a Colerain resident with medical costs and to get the word out about the crippling disease. It will be held at the Steel Mill Bar and Grille, starting at 2 p.m. Admission is $5 per person, with all ages invited until 10 p.m.

The event is the brainchild of Brilliant resident Dave Guy who has been planning this since January. Guy’s older sister, Jennifer Starkey, suffers from MS.

“I like to put on benefit shows, so I thought I would do one for my sister and to promote awareness of multiple sclerosis at the same time,” Guy explained. “I met with the people at the Steel Mill and they were fully cooperative. They, basically, gave me full rein of the outdoor stage and patio to put on this benefit band blast.”

According to Guy, there are 11 rock-n-roll bands that have donated their time to play at the event. Two are from Pittsburgh.

“I talked to some of my friends in the local music industry that I’ve met over the years, and a lot of them volunteered to play,” he said. “I would like to thank all of them.”

The bands include United By Hate; Resistance 13; Disobey; BAAL; Echoes Never Lie; No Exception; In Hope; Half Blown; Down They Fall; Necrotherion; and Back Heart Tragedy.

“Most of the bands are hard rock, but there are a couple that are a little softer,” Guy noted.

Even though the event has been in the works since January, Starkey didn’t find out until recently.

“I love it. I didn’t know until about two weeks ago,” Starkey said. “I love my brother. He is awesome.”

Starkey said she participated in a recent Walk for MS in Wheeling and was a little disappointed in the turnout.

“There weren’t that many people there, but it wasn’t very publicized. It’s nice that all of these people are coming together to do this,” she added. “It will definitely help out with my (medical) costs, but we also need to use this time as an opportunity to spread the word about MS. There are a lot of people in the Ohio Valley that have MS. It’s great that these people are doing this.

“I’m excited about it.”

For those not sure what MS is, Starkey will be manning a booth for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society where information will be available. Also, a friend of Starkey’s who is afflicted with the disease and basically confined to a wheelchair will be on hand with their service dog from Canines for Life.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic condition that affects the central nervous system (CNS): the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. The damage caused by multiple sclerosis creates scars, called lesions, that can be seen on the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. Because the process of developing these lesions is called sclerosis, multiple sclerosis literally means “many scars.”

North can be reached at knorth@timesleaderonline.com.