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2016 Multiple Summits for Multiple Sclerosis Campaign is Underway!

Join the Rocky Mountain MS Center in our efforts to conquer MS with these unique and fun events. Multiple Summits for Multiple Sclerosis (MS4MS) is a do-it-your-way approach to raising awareness and support for the Rocky Mountain MS Center. Whether you hike a trail, walk laps in your own neighborhood, or set out with a team for the peak of a fourteener… Pick your own summit and conquer it with us!

The MS Center Sumitteers on Pike’s Peak in 2015.

MS4MS began in 2010 as a uniquely Colorado approach to an active, outdoor fundraising program for the MS Center. Walks, bike rides and 5k races are pretty common across the country, so why not shake things up a little by featuring some local flavor? Look to the west from anywhere on the front range, and you’ve got a pretty obvious local feature looking back at you – the Rocky Mountains.

Hiking is undoubtedly one of the favorite pastimes of people in our region, with hundreds of parks and innumerable trails within easy reach of most Coloradans. Add to that the challenge of hiking our 52 fourteeners – peaks over 14,000 feet – and you’ve got the recipe for a fun, challenging and unique fundraising campaign.

Team Black & Veatch peaked Mt. Belford and Mt. Oxford in 2015.

But MS4MS isn’t without its own challenges. So many fourteeners, trails and parks present a lot of different options for hikers, and the nature of hiking doesn’t lend itself very well to inviting thousands of people to one place on some Saturday morning the way you might with a charity 5k race. Instead, we’ve turned over the organizing power to our team captains – supporters of the MS Center who organize their own hikes, recruit team members, collect donations and raise awareness about their efforts all through the summer.

This participant-driven format started as a way to get a few teams active on hikes they could plan with their families, groups of friends, or even coworkers as company wellness events. As the word spread about this new hiking-based fundraiser, we started to realize an unexpected consequence of these self-directed events: anyone can participate in MS4MS!

Of course there are teams headed to the peaks of fourteeners, but today’s MS4MS is so much more. From major treks across mountain ranges to walks in local parks and neighborhoods, MS4MS teams have sprung up to meet the needs and abilities of any participant you could imagine.

“As MS4MS has grown, its unique format has allowed it to align with the philosophies of the Rocky Mountain MS Center,” said Gina Berg, the MS Center’s Chief Executive Officer. “What started with a few teams tackling some of Colorado’s famous fourteeners has become a campaign that anyone, from anywhere, and with any ability level can take part in – just design your own ‘summit’ and get started.”


In what’s become an annual tradition, clients at the King Adult Day Enrichment Program (KADEP) join MS4MS in their “flat fourteener” – an accessible walk measuring more than 14,000 feet around the MS Center facility in Westminster.

Team KADEP enjoying the sun during 2015’s Flat 14er.

“From the start of MS4MS, we wanted KADEP to be involved,” says KADEP Director Michelle King. “Coordinating a large trip into the mountains would have been difficult for us, given that clients are only here during certain hours and on weekdays.” Additionally, a mountain hike might have excluded some clients, since KADEP serves people with many different ability levels.

“We invented the ‘Flat Fourteener’ as a way to get our clients involved in MS4MS, and it’s become an event they look forward to every summer,” said King. Each year, the Flat Fourteener is modeled after an actual 14,000-foot peak in Colorado, and clients traverse the equivalent of that summit’s height on a flat, paved course. This year, KADEP took on all 14,199 feet of Mt. Yale – that’s about 33 laps around the Flat Fourteener course, or just over 2.5 miles.

KADEP clients “hike” Mt. Yale on foot, with assistance from canes and walkers, and in wheelchairs – the Flat Fourteener is truly open to people of all ability levels. This year, KADEP’s Flat Fourteener also served as the official MS4MS Kickoff event, and KADEP clients were joined by RMMSC physicians, staff and volunteers on their hike.

The Flat Fourteener concept has been used by other teams over the years as well, as a great way to include young and old along with those who may have mobility issues. Many KADEP clients will break their hike down into more manageable pieces, hiking parts of the Flat Fourteener throughout the summer and keeping track until they reach their goal.

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