Today’s Charleston Challenge Spotlight features Team Kelly! Denise Kelly has been the team captain of Team Kelly for 5 years. This will be Denise’s sixth Challenge Walk MS, as well as her mother’s. Team Kelly consists of two families and their friends. Denise, along with her mother, Libby Cline, and her father, JD Cline, have drawn in the Cline’s awesome neighbor, Kathy Jones for several years. They have also recruited Kathy’s friend, Kim, and now that she will be 14, Denise’s daughter, Gracie.
At one of Team Kelly’s fundraising yard sales, Denise met Cheri D’Aprile, and the D’Aprile family joined up with Team Kelly. Cheri is joined by her sister, Kelley, and Darrell Comstock, both who walked last year. Last year, Cheri was also joined by her father, Tony, stepmother, Marcia, and friend, Steve. When possible during Challenge Walk MS, all of Team Kelly likes to walk together, and enjoy talking and the laughs. You might hear them coming up behind you, cheering and rooting each other and everyone else on, as they pride themselves on their volume!
Both Denise and Cheri have MS. Denise started the team within months of recovering from her diagnosing attack because she wanted to do something positive, instead of focusing on what she “thought” she couldn’t. She was training for a half marathon when diagnosed, so she had been setting fitness goals, and wanted to continue to set goals, so her health would be the best it could be, given the diagnosis. All the Challenge Walkers, volunteers, and staff have become so special to her, and all of the team, that she can’t imagine NOT being there! It is always tough getting through all 50 miles, no doubt about it, but the team truly encourages one another on.
Denise says, “My team is so determined to walk for those that can’t, we have to make one another sit it out if injured, and pushed through a torrential downpour last year. I couldn’t ask for better or more committed teammates!” They get through it together, and have the tradition of crossing the finish line hand in hand. Team Kelly wears matching tie-dye shirts, so if you see them coming, give them a shout out!…They love making new friends!
Have an idea of a great Charleston Challenge Spotlight? Send it to us at ChallengeMS@nmss.org!