Reno Volunteers Helping Fight MS

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Just a week after a grueling fund-raising competition, local volunteers for the Jimmie Heuga Center were celebrating a job well done.

The center schedules events all over the US and Canada, but their volunteer effort in Northern Nevada has grown especially strong in the last nine years. On Saturday, supporters got some much needed "r and r," after raising five thousand dollars at last week's Vertical Express Benefit.

Congratulations were in order at Mount Rose as nearly fifty volunteers ate hot dogs; listened to music; and talked about how far the Center has come since 1984 when Olympian and Tahoe native Jimmie Heuga went against conventional advice and opted to treat his MS with exercise instead of avoiding it.

"I don't know medically about prolonging lives or anything," says Steve Truss, a fund-raising volunteer. "But is gives them hope and helps them maintain a better quality of life. And everybody that has multiple sclerosis says, that when they were diagnosed, they thought it was the end of the world and it's not; they can go on for many, many years and live a great life."

Truss is also a member of the Faithful Hounds, which is a three-man ski team from Reno that competes every year to raise money so people living with MS can attend the Heuga Center each year.

Captain Chris Hallvik says it's a win-win situation for competitors, who get to do what they love, so others can live life to the fullest.

"The exuberance and passion that goes toward helping people and doing what you love is a (wonderful) combination," says Hallvik. "And here I am today doing that same thing and it's great people and I love life because of this."