Sitting in her Tuxedo apartment with her daughter, Jessie Lang reflects on her life, forming the MS chapter in Winnipeg, and her late daughter Wendy.
Lang, 97, and her 68-year-old daughter Signy Hansen participated in this year’s MS Walk at the University of Manitoba on May 5, where the society raised close to $400,000.
Lang participated in remembrance of her daughter Wendy’s death in 1993 at age 51.
Lang and Hansen’s team, called Forever Wendy, raised $7,201 with a group of 17 fundraisers. Alone, Lang raised $2,495, and Hansen raised $3,150.
Wendy was diagnosed with MS 10 years after her first attack at just 22 years old in 1963.
"She was tall and beautiful and clever," said Lang of her daughter. "She loved people and had a great sense of humour."
But as the attacks continued, Wendy lost a little more control of her body. After her first attack, her right side was paralyzed, then part of her throat, later her leg. Despite that, Wendy worked in retail in Toronto.
"She handled it very well," said Lang. "She kept a job, she just kept on going."
When her attacks got worse, Wendy moved back to Winnipeg and worked with Skills Unlimited.
"She was an inspiration to her students," said Hansen. "She was living with a disability, and she trained others how to do the same."
When Wendy was first diagnosed, Lang decided to form the Winnipeg chapter, and then later the Portage la Prairie chapter of the MS society. She later helped in the formation of society chapters all over Canada.
During her years volunteering at the society Lang was on the Winnipeg Chapter Board, the Manitoba Division board, the national board, was president of the Winnipeg chapter, the patient services chairperson, and a national executive. Lang also won the Nancy R. Perkins memorial award for her service, and had a scholarship named in her honour, of which she was the first recipient.
"I think they are doing very well," said Lang of the MS Society of Canada today. "There is certainly more money going in. There was such a wonderful response to that walk, it was very well done, very good turnout."