Downey's Diego Ramirez joins battle against MS

DOWNEY – Downey resident Diego Ramirez is literally painting himself orange as he raises money for multiple sclerosis research. Ramirez got behind the cause after a close friend, Vanessa Castro, lost her mother to the disease in 2011.

“I didn’t even know what MS was until she passed away,” said Ramirez, 29. “I was pretty ignorant on what it was until I started doing some research on it.”

Multiple sclerosis – or 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,” according to the National MS Society.

Millions of people are affected by MS and the challenges of living with its unpredictable symptoms, which range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis.

Ramirez will participate in the Long Beach MS Walk on April 26. His goal is to raise $1,000.

As an added incentive, Ramirez will paint himself in orange – the official color of the MS Society – from head to toe. Local artist Roy Anthony Shabla is volunteering his talent to paint Ramirez.

“I’ve seen people with MS struggle with the disease, and if I can put a smile on their face it will all be worth it,” said Ramirez.

Community members can help by walking with Ramirez or making a donation online at .

The walk begins with opening ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. Participants can choose from 1- or 5-mile routes.

Ramirez’s team already has 12 members, including several members of the Downey Knights of Columbus.



Published: April 17, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 01