Community Champions

Nicole Russell Recertification Coordinator, New Jersey MENTOR
Grant Recipient, Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Chapter

Nicole’s passion for volunteer work hits close to home. Her father was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1986 and lived with the disease until she was a senior in high school in 2007. When Nicole was planning her wedding eight years later, she looked for a way to make her father’s memory be part of this important time in her life. That year she recruited her friends, coworkers, and family members to join team “Walk for Kevin” for Walk MS for the Delaware Valley Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Chapter. The Greater Delaware Valley Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware and raise funds for critical MS research.

Based on the great response from their first year, Nicole has formed a team each year since. Together “Walk for Kevin” has raised nearly $6,000 and is one of the top for teams for the annual event. Nicole begins planning 6 months in advance of the walk each year, recruiting volunteers, spreading the word, and fundraising. Each year, Nicole also designs a shirt based on one of her father’s favorite things. Most recently the t-shirts included the quote “When they said sit down, I stood up.”

“It is amazing to see the advancements they have made in the past few years and that is why I do this,” said Nicole. “I believe that the contributions we have raised have helped make a difference and I want everyone to have a chance to fight the battle.”

Nicole personally knows others in the community who are affected by the disease so she won’t be stopping any time soon.

“Nicole lights up a room,” said Eve Estrict, Area Director, New Jersey MENTOR. “Her bubbly personality makes family, friends, colleagues and strangers come together to for a cause which in many cases, hasn’t personally affected them. However, they do it because it is important to her.”

To learn more about The Greater Delaware Valley: National Multiple Sclerosis Society, please visit their website at https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Chapters/PAE.