Allison Nagy: 2023 MS Run The US Relay

Lilian Reiner

You can donate to raise money for MS research at

Lillian Reiner

   You know that feeling when you sit in one position for too long and your feet and lower legs start to tingle and go numb? That is what people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience every day, except instead of feeling that numbness in just their feet, they feel it in their entire bodies. They suffer from a host of other symptoms, including chronic pain, memory problems, muscle spasms and tremors, fatigue, difficulties with mobility and balance, and behavioral changes. A common misconception is that multiple sclerosis only affects older people, but it can affect people of any age, including teenagers. 

   Sheldon Wood’s teacher Allison Nagy has witnessed firsthand how MS has affected the lives of her loved ones; she grew up with a family friend living with MS. But it wasn’t until her close friend and college cross country and track teammate was diagnosed with MS shortly after graduating college that she knew that she had to do more to raise awareness for the often invisible struggles that people living with MS experience. 

   The ability to run was something that she had taken for granted, until she realized that running was no longer about getting the fastest time, she was now running to just cross the finish line. “Unfortunately MS causes her to lose feeling in her arms and legs while running, so I became her guide. I was there to catch her when she couldn’t feel her legs. I was there to carry ice bags to put on her hands, arms, and legs during races to regain feeling,” Nagy said. “I was there for emotional and physical support. But, even after marathons together, she felt there was something bigger to accomplish. In 2019, we ran 166 miles in 6 days as segment 9 of the MSRUNTHEUS relay.”

   The MSRUNTHEUS Relay is a 3,260 mile relay from California to New York. The race is made up of 19 segments, starting on April 5 in Santa Monica California and ending on August 19 in New York City. Each runner is either living with MS or has close connections with someone who suffers from MS. Each runner will raise $10,000 to help make the lives of those affected easier and to fund research and raise awareness for the challenges that those living with MS face. It takes a special type of friend to be willing to run the equivalent of five marathons over the course of five days, but Nagy views it as a privilege to run this race for her friend. “Her legs no longer allow her to run, so I felt that the best way to honor and support her, and the millions of others living each day with MS, was to apply for the 2023 team”.

   Nagy will be running Segment 15 of the relay from Valparaiso, Indiana to Van Wert, Ohio, a distance of 142 miles, over the course of five days. “My goal is to run 30-35 miles the first two or three days, and by day four, have a little shorter of a distance. The biggest goal is to keep day five at ten or less miles. It’s nice to end the five days with lower distance and also with uncertainty of what weather could be each day.” 

   The preparation for a race of this magnitude must begin months in advance. Runners are provided with a coach who creates a specialized running plan as well as a nutritionist, so that each runner is adequately prepared and strong enough to sustain the entirety of the race. 

   Nagy will be running her segment of the relay alone, “Though I do have family and friends who will come out each day and complete part of the miles with me (some on bikes, cars, unicycles, running, etc.). I’m also hopeful my friend can come out and be there in the crew car, or potentially on her bike.” Additionally, MSRUNTHEUS relay has a crew car that will drive alongside her and an RV where she will be able to rest, refuel and spend the night. 

   The money that is raised through this relay will go to those living with MS to help with mobility equipment, treatment and at-home help, as well as research. MSRUNTHEUS aligns itself with two researchers; Dr. Jacob Sosnoff, who specializes in how to optimize the mobility in individuals with MS and Dr. Wahls, who studies therapeutic lifestyle adjustments. This relay provides hundreds of people with access to resources that they would not otherwise be able to afford, including adaptive driver’s training, wheelchairs, stairlifts, and Walk Aide devices.

  MS has put Nagy’s life into perspective, it has taught her to make the most of life and the time that we have on this earth. “MS has shown me how strong people are and how important relationships with others are,” says Nagy.

    One day, Nagy hopes to live in a world where MS doesn’t exist. Until that is a reality, she will continue to do her part to help raise awareness and funding for a disease that is not talked about nearly enough. You can support Nagy and help her reach her goal by visiting and donating today!