Walk MS remembers NRV event's largest supporter - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Walk MS remembers NRV event's largest supporter

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Whether through the use of bracelets, balloons, or ribbons, for years, Carroll County native Joe Mabry did anything he could to help raise money to fight MS.

"When it came to MS and anything to do with it, he was super excited. He wanted to volunteer. He wanted to do anything he could to raise money to be here," said Autumn Stanley.

But last August, his efforts were cut short. The 19-year-old died from heart complications he had been battling for years. It is why this year's "Walk MS of the New River Valley in Radford is bittersweet for his family members and about 170 others who knew him. They are all walking to cure MS, but also to remember Mabry. Regina Dalton, a family friend, and the leader of the Twin County MS chapter, has been battling the neuromuscular disease for years.

"He was just very active with us. We would do fund raisers to try to get extra money for the walk," said Dalton.

Each year Mabry was a big supporter of this event. Event organizers tell me he was usually the first to sign up

"It was very dear to his heart and he wore it on his sleeve. He brought it out into the community. He wanted people to share what he was feeling and he really did want to find a cure for MS," said Annamarie Bonano, with the National MS Society.

"It's bittersweet, but his memory will linger on for us forever," said Dalton.

So with every step this afternoon, walkers hope to continue Mabry's efforts and find a cure.