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Every Stitch Has Something To Say: Danielson Woman’s Quilt A Work Of Hope

DANIELSON, Conn. — Cindy Marcheterre has owned her own daycare business for 30 years. At age 57 dancing the Hokey-Pokey can wear her out.

It is not her age or her job, however, that leads Marcheterre to feel constantly fatigued; Marcheterre lives with multiple sclerosis.

“I actually had to downsize,” says Marcheterre, a resident of Danielson, Conn. “I just can’t be on my feet as long as I used to.”

Cindy Marcheterre
Cindy Marcheterre and her grand-daughter, Jordan, warm themselves with the quilt Marcheterre crafted to raise money for her Travelers Walk MS team, Cindy’s Marchers.

In 1998 after an episode where she temporarily lost feeling in her legs and began suffering from neurological issues, Marcheterre was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), a potentially debilitating disease for which there is no cure.

“I was in complete shock when I received the diagnosis,” says Marcheterre. “I was not aware of MS or anyone who had it. I associated the disease with being handicapped in a wheelchair and assumed that was my fate.”

More than 6,000 Connecticut residents live with multiple sclerosis, a chronic and often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness and tingling in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness and, in some more severe cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.

Despite the impact of MS on her daycare business, Marcheterre’s clients are very supportive of her efforts to battle the disease and raise awareness. Several of her daycare families have even joined her Walk MS team, Cindy’s Marchers, one of the largest teams at the annual Traveler’s Walk MS in Woodstock, Conn., each year. This year’s team goal is to raise $5,000.

Hyde School will, for a ninth year, host the Travelers Walk MS, Sunday, May 4. Check-in and registration begin at 8 a.m., and participants step out at 9 a.m. Last year 331 Woodstock residents helped raise $60,600 toward the 2007 $1.1 million goal.

“It means so much to me that my family, friends and daycare clients have been so supportive,” says Marcheterre. “The first year I had my own team it was just my six sisters and me. Now, six years later, there are more than 50 members who come to walk with me at the Woodstock site each year.”

One way Marcheterre plans to reach this goal is by raffling off a quilt she hand crafted.

“The quilt is lap-size and features a brick-walk pattern that looks like steps going up and down,” says Marcheterre. “The quilt symbolizes the struggles of those who suffer from MS. The steps represent the constant ups and downs we face as we battle this disease.”

Despite the ups and downs of her battle with multiple sclerosis, Marcheterre and her team have become dedicated to raising awareness in the hopes of finding a cure.

“I treat the symptoms like an annoyance,” says Marcheterre. “I have learned to shape my life around this disease I cannot control, without giving up my life.”

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter hopes to raise more than $1.5 million this year. In addition to the Woodstock site, the 2008 Travelers Walk MS will take place at: Cheshire, Clinton, Enfield, Litchfield, Manchester, New London, Norwalk, Simsbury, West Hartford and West Haven.

Registration begins at 8 a.m., and participants step out at 9 a.m. Participants can choose to walk either a 2.5- or 5-mile route.

Additional partners stepping out in support include: Acorda and Serono. Lunch at all sites is provided compliments of Subway and Coca-Cola. To learn more about the Travelers Walk MS, Cindy’s Marchers team or to pre-register, please visit Learn more about multiple sclerosis, its effects, and programs and services offered by the chapter to those living with the disease by e-mailing



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