Tag Archives: MS Walk

Remembering Connie

ms team this yearOn Sunday our family team participated in the MS Walk once again in memory of my cousin Connie who died of MS complications twenty years ago.  Connie and I were the same age and good friends as well as cousins.  It was hard to witness the devastating impact of MS on Connie and her family.  Raising money for MS research is one way for our family to honor Connie’s memory and try to make a difference for others who also struggle with MS.  

ms walkers

ms walk

I always enjoy the visits I have with my cousins and their families as I walk. A big thank you to my Uncle Dave, Connie’s Dad, who once again footed the bill for a family lunch at the Beachcomber restaurant after the walk. 

Other posts……….

Walking for Connie

MS Walk Year Four

Walking for Connie 2016

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Walking for Connie 2016

ms walk team 2016On Sunday I joined this great group at The Forks for the MS Walk in memory of my cousin Connie who died of MS in 1997 . I’ve been doing this walk for five years ever since I moved back to Canada from Hong Kong.  Connie’s niece Caryn organizes our efforts each year. Our 2016 team was a little smaller than usual but it was good to get together with family and friends, visit and walk in the beautiful sunshine, and meet for lunch. Before our meal we drank a toast to Connie. Kudos to my amazing Uncle Dave, Connie’s Dad, who picked up the tab for lunch AND walked the whole route.  He is 90 years old! 

connie and me picking strawberries

My cousin Connie and I were born in the same year. That’s me on the left. It’s 1957 and Connie and I are off to pick peas from our Grandma’s garden in Gnadenthal, Manitoba. Connie and I were life long friends.  I’m glad that each year I can honor Connie’s memory by helping to raise awareness about the disease that ended the life of my gifted, brave and accomplished cousin. 

Other posts………

MS Walk -Whoop De Doo Clan 2014

Walking for Connie

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MS Walk Year Four

ms walk 2015

This past Sunday was the fourth year I’ve participated in the Winnipeg MS Walk with my extended family.  Here I am with my aunt and cousin at the end of the 5 km. route which wended its way through the area around The Forks.  It was a warm day but very windy.  After the walk the twenty or so people in our clan all went out for lunch together.connieWe walk together in memory of my talented and beautiful cousin Connie who died of MS. Connie and I were born in the same year and were good friends throughout our lives. connie0005

There was a board along the way where we could leave a message about why we were walking. Here’s mine. 

ms walk messageOther posts…….

Walking for Connie

MS Walk 2013

The Whoop De Doo Clan

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MS Walk 2014- Whoop De Doo

ms walk team 2014Yesterday the Whoop De Doo Team got together in memory of my cousin Connie who died due to complications from multiple sclerosis in 1997, to do the Winnipeg MS Walk which raises funds for MS research.caryn at ms walk

Our team of family and friends is organized each year by my cousin Connie’s niece Caryn. She chose the name Whoop De Doo for our group in memory of my cousin Connie’s wry sense of humour which helped her cope with MS. When the doctor would give Connie a diagnosis or medical report that was less than favourable she would respond with a sarcastic “whoop de doo”.marylou and dave at the forksDave and I are both wearing red- the signature colour for the MS Walk. MS walkersThis year the 5km walk started at The Forks and wended its way through St. Boniface whereas in the past we’ve always been at the University of Manitoba. dave and our bikesThis meant Dave and I could bike over to the site. youngest members of the teamHere are the youngest two members of our team Ruby and Kassia.

uncle dave, margaret his sister and caryn his granddaughterThe oldest walker on the team was my eighty-eight year old Uncle Dave here with his sister Margaret and his granddaughter Caryn. He did all 5 km and I took this photo just before he crossed the finish line. roy and nettieThe middle generation of the family was also represented. Here is my cousin Roy with my Aunt Nettie.men and women walkers

Our route was lined with signs that provided interesting information both about walking and MS. ms disease explanation

information about msWe were entertained along the walk by gymnasts and musicians. gymnasts at winnipeg ms walk
accordion player ms walk

pipers winnipeg ms walk

at the restaurant

Later my Uncle Dave treated us all to lunch at a restaurant where we had a chance to visit and toast my cousin Connie. 

two loving cousinsHere I am with my cousin Connie. We were born seven months apart. Can you guess which one is me? Connie was my first friend as well as my cousin. 

If you want to read more about my cousin and our past MS family walks check these posts…….

Walking for Connie

Walking for Connie 2013

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Walking for Connie 2013

dirk and me at ms walk

Just finished the 2013 MS Walk. You can read all about it on my Destination Winnipeg site.

Winnipeg MS Walk 2013

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Walking For Connie

My cousin Connie died in 1997 due to complications from multiple sclerosis. She was diagnosed in 1979 and struggled courageously with the disease for nearly two decades.   Connie was a talented musician and soloist who performed in a professional choir and in musicals.  After obtaining a degree from the University of Manitoba she became a teacher.  She was married, working at a private girls school in Toronto and had just made plans to begin a master’s degree in history when she found out she had MS. 

On Sunday, May 6th some twenty-five of Connie’s family members–cousins, aunts, her Dad, sister and niece, and even a great-niece, participated in the MS Walk in memory of Connie. We raised over $1,500 for the MS Society. I was so glad that for the first time I could join the team because I was no longer living abroad. 

My cousin Connie and I were born just nine months apart and she was my first friend. 

We played together.

She came to my birthday parties. In this photo Connie is on my right

We sang together. Here we perform carols at Christmas for our grandparents. My sister Kaaren is to Connie’s right and in the front are my cousins Albert, Bernie and Robert.

Connie is right in the middle of a clutch of cousins in front of the Christmas tree, when we are about ten years old. Connie was the eldest of 17  cousins. During her years with MS,when her mobility was compromised and she couldn’t go out much, she used her time to start a family newsletter to keep all of her cousins in touch with each other so we would be aware of what was going on in one another’s lives. 

At Connie’s funeral we cousins formed a choir and performed a song called The Great Storm is Over.  I was privileged to be asked to give a tribute to Connie during the service. Connie’s parents my Aunt Margaret and Uncle Dave had requested Connie’s memorial service be a time in which we truly celebrated her life so I talked about the many positive ways Connie had influenced me. Felt markers were handed out at the cemetery and we could write messages to Connie on her coffin before they lowered it into the ground. As they did so, a bouquet of balloons was released into the air.  

I thought it was appropriate that colorful balloons surrounded Connie’s team when they took our photo at the University of Manitoba’s Max Bell Centre just before the walk began. Along the route I got a chance to walk beside many different members of our family and invariably at some point our conversation included memories of Connie. 

I’m so glad Connie’s niece Caryn organized a team for the MS Walk. She deserves a great deal of credit for her initiative and her dedication to her aunt’s memory. I’m already looking forward to next year’s walk. I hope even more family members will join us as we raise money to help end a disease that not only impacted our family in a devastating way, but continues to cause heart-break in thousands of other Canadian families. 

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Bearing Fruit- The Trees of Rideau Hall


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