VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — It’s MS Awareness Week. Walk MS is just around the corner and last year’s top fundraising team, Keep On sMyelin, hopes to outdo itself this year. The question is how? That’s where 5-and-a-half-year-old Kellan Walsh comes in to play.
When you walk into the Walsh home in Virginia Beach, you can’t miss the sounds of a machine whirring. Ask the family and they will tell you that sound fills their home day and night. Those sounds come from a bracelet maker Kellan got as a Christmas gift.
Kellan’s mom, Kristin Walsh, says the family got together in January to brainstorm ways to raise even more money for Walk MS in April. Last year was a massive success for their team. Kristin says Kellan spoke up and said she wanted to help with fundraising this year.
“She was like, ‘Well, I could make bracelets,’ and we were like, ‘Well maybe that’s a great idea! Maybe we can make bracelets!'” says Kristin.
The Walsh family is so passionate about Multiple Sclerosis Awareness and fundraising because Kellan’s grandmother, who she calls “Beme,” was diagnosed with MS in 2008.
“I saw my mom go from a very active, independent woman, to being dependent on her scooter and, I mean, she still stays very active, but she’s dependent on other devices to keep her that way,” Kristin said.
Fast forward to today and Kellan’s bracelet idea has taken on a life of its own. Bracelets for Beme is booming. Kellan and her family have made well over 200 bracelets, and at $10 a pop, every penny goes to Walk MS. Kellan says every dollar puts a big smile on her face.
The bracelets are going everywhere.
“This one’s going to Hawaii, going to West Virginia, they’re going to Maryland,” Kristin says as she prepares to ship the bracelets.
Kristin is in awe of this big drive in her little girl.
“She will go into her school everyday, ‘Buy my bracelets! It’s for MS!’ She got in front of her class. Her flyer is taped to her door. She is so passionate about this.”
The whole family is working on the bracelets now … which makes sense, because ever since Beme’s diagnosis, they faced MS together. And to think, this all started with a Christmas gift that just keeps on giving.
“It’s remarkable to see. I mean it really melts my heart to see what she’s done. It brings tears to my eyes, but we’re very proud of her,” Kristin says.
If you would like to support the cause by buying one of Kellan’s bracelets, click here.
In the meantime, if you know of a child who is making a change in the community, Katie Collett wants to share their story!
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