Walk to Defeat Multiple Sclerosis

John Hamlet MS Walk

Even an unusually chilly late October morning didn’t keep supporters of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and PPD Hero John Hamlet from the Walk MS in Austin, Texas. The walk is often attended by patients and family of newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, and is a way to raise awareness for how the National MS Society can support them and give them hope.

For a dozen years, John, senior director, project management for PPD, has braved the morning start to walk in support of finding a cure for the disease his uncle died from ― and that he was diagnosed with 12 years ago.

“The walk is an opportunity for me to help raise awareness about MS, the importance of seeking medical care and treatment and the support available to those who suffer from MS,” said John. “It’s an exciting time each year for me to gather with my coworkers to show support for our community and be reminded of our corporate values, supporting the patients who benefit from the work we do every day.”

This year, John also met with an early morning TV interview and encouraged viewers to join him at Dell Diamond, a baseball stadium 30 minutes from PPD’s office, to walk.

Some participants walk the nearly three miles through a nearby park. For others, MS impedes their ability to walk. Dozens of walkers donned Halloween costumes. Despite the distances accomplished at varying speeds and in various dress, there is a can-do spirit throughout. There were also vendor and pharmaceutical company tents in the PPD Expo area.

Throughout the dozen years of leading teams, John has inspired many friends and family members to walk with him. In that time, the team has raised a total of $100,000, consistently raising 10 percent of the event’s total fundraising. Simultaneously John motivates his PPD colleagues to join. This year was no different, including a CRA who had worked on clinical trials to help develop therapies for MS patients.

“Having worked on trials for MS drugs, it meant a lot to me to see people who had benefitted from their use,” Corey Pallatto Hughan, CRA (Level II) for PPD, told John. “Thanks again for inviting me to participate — I hope I get the chance to work with you in the future, but either way I’ll see you at the event next year!”

According to John, this year the National MS Society has raised over $1 billion through Walk MS, which directly funds research to find treatments and potentially a cure for MS. The local MS Society chapters directly support those who, as a result of their illness, need help to pay for medicine and treatment, accessibility upgrades for their home or other basic requirements.

Learn more about PPD’s philanthropy and community affairs initiatives and join a culture dedicated to making an impact on the health of people around the world.