Former Niagara Falls resident Loretto Thompson is working to raise $25,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society by walking just about 100 miles. “A 160k Pilgrimage for a Cure” will take place this October in Spain.

Thompson was diagnosed with MS in 2001 — two days after 9-11.

“Talk about a bad week”, she recalls.

Things have gotten better as this year marks her 10th year in remission. To celebrate she’s heading to Spain for a little walking.

Known as the Camino de Santiago — in English “The Way of St. James” — the 160 kilometer pilgrimage is to the resting place of the Apostle St. James. This pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela started as an act of faith for Europeans who crossed Spain to visit the sacred tomb of Saint James.

To help reach her goal, Thompson, is organizing Rally at The Rapids, an MS fundraiser being held 7-10 p.m. July 16 at The Rapids Theatre on Main Street.

The event will feature music by True Gravity and That Big Fun (formerly Industrial Youth), there will also be a silent auction, raffles, food and fun. The event is open to all ages.  

Requested ticket donation is $20, of which 100 percent will be donated, those under age 12 will be admitted free.  

“I am truly amazed by the outpouring of support from Western New York,” Thompson said. “The MS community is very grateful.”  

In addition to all the help from The Rapids Theatre and Pizza Time Restaurant, prizes have been donated by the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Bisons, Delta Sonic, The Premier Group, the Spirit of Buffalo, Artpark, Martin’s Fantasy Island, Arrowhead Spring Vineyards, Danny Sheehan’s Steakhouse, The Maid of the Mist, original artwork, gift baskets and more.  

Approximately 400,000 Americans have MS, with 200 more diagnosed every week. Worldwide, MS affects about 2.1 million people. “My MS Camino” is Thompson’s “way of saying thank you” to the researchers & volunteers focused on one goal — a cure. To donate, please visit her donation website and Join the Movement to create a world free of MS.


• WHAT: Rally at the Rapids

• WHEN: 7-10 p.m. July 16

• WHERE: Rapids Theatre, Main Street

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