Paws for MS Dog Walk Connects Physical and Mental Health

Zita Kavanagh-Taylor's 8th annual 4km Paws for MS dog walk in Mount Pearl, Canada raises funds for MS research and mental health awareness. Proceeds will be donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association for education and programming.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Paws for MS Dog Walk Connects Physical and Mental Health

Paws for MS Dog Walk Connects Physical and Mental Health

Zita Kavanagh-Taylor's 8th annual 4km Paws for MS dog walk in Mount Pearl, Canada is raising funds for MS research and mental health awareness this year. The event, held at Critters N Things pet store, highlights the connection between physical illnesses like multiple sclerosis and mental health issues.

Kavanagh-Taylor, who was diagnosed with MS in 2010 and had to relearn how to walk, created Paws for MS eight years ago. "When you're hit with MS, your whole life changes, a different route, different journey," she said. In Canada, about 90,000 people live with MS, one of the highest rates of the disease worldwide.

Why this matters: This event sheds light on the often overlooked connection between physical health conditions and mental wellbeing, which can have a significant impact on the quality of life for individuals living with chronic illnesses. By raising awareness and funds for mental health education and programming, the event can help improve the overall support system for those affected by MS and other chronic conditions.

This year's walk focuses on the mental health impact of living with a chronic physical condition like MS. Proceeds will be donated to the provincial branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association for education and programming. "Awareness is probably one of the very first things that people can benefit from. Awareness of how their mental health may be impacted by a physical condition," said John Dinn, Eastern Regional Manager of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

For Kavanagh-Taylor, her dog has been a source of comfort and understanding while living with MS. "You're feeling down, your dog's always there. He's the one that understands," she reflected. The event aims to facilitate conversations about life with a chronic illness and hopes to grow every year.

Mount Pearl pet store Critters N Things has hosted the Paws for MS walk since its inception eight years ago. Owner Mark Winsor has supported the event, saying "It just means so much to be able to give back." The walk brings together the local community to raise awareness and funds for an important cause.

The 8th annual Paws for MS dog walk sheds light on the often overlooked connection between physical health conditions and mental wellbeing. By donating proceeds to mental health education and programming, the event underscores the importance of holistic support for those living with chronic illnesses like multiple sclerosis in Canada.

Key Takeaways

  • Zita Kavanagh-Taylor's 8th annual Paws for MS dog walk raises funds for MS research and mental health awareness.
  • The event highlights the connection between physical illnesses like MS and mental health issues.
  • Proceeds will be donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association for education and programming.
  • The walk aims to facilitate conversations about life with chronic illness and promote holistic support.
  • The event has been hosted by Critters N Things pet store in Mount Pearl, Canada for 8 years.