Andrea Dunn put out the call, and the community answered.
The FM96 host, known to listeners as Dunner, spent 10 hours straight Friday morning and afternoon walking on a treadmill on her patio, all with the goal of raising $10,000 for the MS Society of Canada as part of #WeChallengeMS, a virtual fundraising challenge launched by the MS Society amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was a goal that was met and then some, thanks to the generosity of the London-area listeners.
Dunn, with the help of her children, announced at the end of her radio show Friday afternoon that the ’10 For 10′ walk had raised $11,270 for the MS Society through text and online donations.
That total then grew after it was revealed on-air that Corus Radio London would be pitching in an additional $5,000, bringing the grand total to $16,270.
The news left Dunn in tears.
“Oh my gosh. That’s way more than I thought it was going to be. I thought maybe we’d get to 10… I was hoping we’d get to 10,000, but I didn’t think… oh wow,” she said.
“Thank you, everyone. That means so much that people want to support and help people with MS. That’s going to go a long way.”
“Crying on the radio, oh man,” she said with a laugh.
Dunn began her walk at 8 a.m. as London’s temperature hovered around the one-degree mark, prompting her to put on as many as 10 layers of clothing to keep warm.
“It was like that scene in Friends where Joey puts on all of Chandler’s clothes,” Dunn told 980 CFPL’s Jess Brady around 3 p.m.
“That’s exactly what I felt like. I had three coats on.”
The walk’s mission was personal for Dunn, marking the 10-year anniversary of her own MS diagnosis at the age of 31.
“I sort of knew what it was, but I had no idea, all the little things about MS,” Dunn told 980 CFPL’s Mike Stubbs around noon, with Stubbs walking on a treadmill in solidarity at his home studio.
According to The MS Society of Canada, Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world, with 11 people diagnosed every day. The reason why isn’t entirely clear.
The disease, described as complex and unpredictable, causes inflammation in the central nervous system, resulting in injury to myelin, the protective sheath that covers nerves. The damage can lead to physical disability and cognitive impairment.
MS is most commonly diagnosed in people between 15 and 40, with women three times more likely than men to be affected.
— With files from The Canadian Press
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