I didn’t realize I was going to be jumping into pools of water 7 feet deep! I would do it again in a heartbeat.

The clouds opened up and blessed Massachusetts with a beautiful, sunny weekend, something New England has not had much of this spring. NETA Cares members gathered Sunday morning at the start line for Muckfest MS: A Fun Mud Run. Muckfest donates 100% of all funds raised towards the National MS Society. To date, they’ve raised $26 million dollars and have helped develop research breakthroughs that will help change the course of those affected by MS.

Mimi, NETA Inventory Coordinator and NETA Cares volunteer, commented, “I am so thankful that I was able to experience my first 5k at MuckFest with the rest of the NETA Cares Crew! It was a great experience for an even greater cause. We all have seen family, friends, coworkers, and patients have to deal with the struggles MS can bring, so to be able to run with and for them just felt like the right thing to do!”

Multiple Sclerosis, MS, is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, that interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Katy, NETA Controller and NETA Cares committee member, continued, “This disease has no prejudices. It does not matter if you are a college athlete, or a mother of three. It doesn’t care if you are 21-years-old and have your whole life ahead of you, or if you are 50-years-old and haven’t been sick a day in your life. If challenging myself mentally (I didn’t realize I was going to be jumping into pools of water 7 feet deep!) and physically for 3.1 miles means that I brought us one step closer to finding a cure, I would do it again in a heartbeat. Actually, I most definitely plan on doing this again!”

Muckfest MS has helped research more therapies for treating and managing MS. Through fundraising efforts, they have helped develop technology to more quickly diagnose MS and create programs to slow the disease growth and activity. As the website states, this group is clearly “on a mission to raise awareness and support people living with MS while bringing us closer to a world without MS.”

Bry, NETA Ops Specialist and NETA Cares volunteer, expressed, “MuckFest was a blast! The event really puts you outside your comfort zone, but then you see, hear, and feel the excitement as the muckers get ready to overcome any physical obstacle and you’re hooked. At NETA, I learn from patients about the different ways MS adversely affects their lives. These patients hope to find some relief from their suffering when they visit us. The MuckFest gave me a chance to be a part of the larger fight to end MS once and for all. And I got to run and swim through mud to do it. Now that is cool.”

The race itself brought challenges to the group, with obstacles ranging from tight rope walking over water, to crawling through tunnels of mud, to jumping into a giant inflatable bed. It tested both physical and mental skills. Katy reminisced, “My favorite part of MuckFest was the comradery among everyone there, not just our NETA Cares team. We were all there to have fun, support a fantastic cause, and get muddy! I loved seeing how our entire NETA Cares team, regardless of what NETA location you work at (Brookline, Northampton or Franklin) cheering one another on, and helping each other out every step of the way.
At the end, once we had all finished, I loved hearing everyone say how proud they were of themselves for completing something that had seemed so daunting in the beginning. Because we all stuck together, encouraged one another, and lent a helping hand (or a boost!), we were all able to finish with smiles on our face and an overall sense of accomplishment.”

What a wonderful and exciting event supporting a cause that affects so many across the United States. Needless to say, NETA Cares will be in attendance next year! Check out our gallery here.