A Sunday afternoon heat wave couldn’t keep supporters away from the Harding’s Hope kickoff event at The Pourhouse in Minneapolis, as fans and followers came out in droves to back the launch of Minnesota Wild goaltender Josh Harding
The event was a huge success for Harding’s Hope, with the charity’s goal “to raise awareness so people understand what MS is and raise funds to support people living with this disease.” Addressing those in attendance, Harding said that medical bills for MS patients can be a huge burden and he’d like his charity to help provide financial relief for families who have a loved one dealing with MS.
Almost immediately after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Harding knew that he wanted to help others that have been affected by the disease. Harding’s Hope is his chance to make a difference in the lives of those who are dealing with MS.
To help raise funds, there was both a silent auction and raffle with prizes from all of the professional sports teams in the Twin Cities, including autographed paraphernalia. Timberwolves star Kevin Love donated a signed basketball, the entire Twins team autographed a batting helmet, while the Vikings gave two autographed jerseys for the cause.
Along with fans and supporters, Harding was joined by teammates Mikko Koivu, Clayton Stoner and Nate Prosser. Former Wild players Devin Setoguchi, Wes Walz and Mark Parrish came to encourage their past teammate, as well.
FOX Sports North’s Kevin Gorg emceed the event that included an impassioned speech about the disease from Harding’s doctor, Jonathan Calkwood, a MS specialist.
The Tim Sigler Band, a local country music act, provided the entertainment with a pair of raucous sets, while event goers danced, tapped their feet and sung along with the tunes.
For more information on Harding’s Hope or to donate, visit the charity’s website.
Multiple sclerosis is a potentially debilitating disease in which your body’s immune system eats away at the protective sheath (myelin) that covers your nerves. Damage to myelin causes interference in the communication between your brain, spinal cord and other areas of your body. This condition may result in deterioration of the nerves themselves, a process that’s not reversible.
Symptoms vary widely, depending on the amount of damage and the nerves that are affected. People with severe cases of multiple sclerosis may lose the ability to walk or speak clearly. Multiple sclerosis can be difficult to diagnose early in the course of the disease because symptoms often come and go — sometimes disappearing for months.
Multiple sclerosis has no cure. However, treatments may help treat MS attacks, manage symptoms and reduce progress of the disease.