Seeking for 16 Thousand

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16 days,  16 cities, 16 hundreds kilometers, 16 thousand steps – such a goal has been set by a roadshow team, which consisted of volunteers, professionals in physical and mental care and their patients, for a roadshow called "Seeking for 16 Thousand".

Expeditionary Renault car with its crew set off on a journey on October 28, 2015 from Prague's MS Center in Charles Square, passed Karlovy Vary, Plzeň, České Budějovice, Jihlava, Žďár nad Sazavou, Brno, Uherské Hradiště, Vsetín, Olomouc, Ostrava, Ustí nad Orlicí, Hradec Kralové, Poděbrady, Liberec, Teplice, and ended its way back in Prague by an outdoor happening for MS.

What was the task of the crew?

– To engage patients with MS into an active life in the regions,
– To invite them, their friends, relatives and general public to the exercise marathon MaRS,
– To provide them with information about current trends in patient care,
– To raise awareness of the disease.


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During the campaign the expedition team visited 16 cities across the whole republic in order to meet and to support MS patients.

Meetings started with an exercise activity in the spirit of the Marathon MaRS, showing that regular exercises are an essential part of the MS treatment. All participants had one "psysical" goal – to walk together 16 thousand steps, measured by pedometers in order to see the city and engage the public.

Such a happening met a considerable support of the patients, public, and students from different schools as well. Participants equipped with badges “I have MS – I do not have MS”, and “Give a Chance to Yourself” walked jointly 130,000 steps on average in each city. "The best result was recorded in Ústí nad Orlicí, where people with the help of medical school students walked 783,301 steps," said Kateřina Bémová from IMPULS. 

This walking activity was followed by a workshop supplemented with the patronage of well-known celebrities, representatives of city administrations or sportsmen. Of course there was the maskot of the tour – Mr. Neuron.

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Expedition team presented the project “Marathon with Multiple Sclerosis”, and physiotherapeutic and rehabilitation programs for MS patients.

Afterwards representatives of local patient organizations, physicians and physiotherapists, talked about their experiences and activities for MS people in the region.

During workshops, people had a great opportunity to hear not only the lectures but also a life story of traveler Aleš Zajíček. Participants had also the possibility to try exercise activities, to ask physiotherapists about appropriate forms of physical therapy and to gain update literature on MS. In all cities a cognitive training was at disposal for participants.

The tour ended ceremonially as a moderated outdoor happening in “Náměstí míru” in Prague.

Event “Seeking for 16 Thousand” became a unique public awareness campaign of its kind in the Czech Republic, in the field of multiple sclerosis.

hleda se 02 444x330Within 16 days, about 1,000 patients, volunteers, specialists in MS treatment and delegates of regional branches of patient organizations got actively involved in the campaign, throughout the Czech Republic. 

"We met with hundreds of people and walked together every day on average, approximately 90 kilometers in each city. With the hearty support from the public we showed that nobody has to worry about the movement, "says Roman Kvapil, promoter of the idea of physical activities performed by MS people, who has been struggling with the disease for 13 years.

The campaign had a great media support, both by regional as well as by statewide media. More than 70 articles about the event, with total readership higher than 27 mil., were published. A great response was registered on social networks, as well.

And the icing on the cake?

hleda se 012 444x330The whole campaign culminated in spring 2016 when a book called “Seeking for 16 Thousand” was published by IMPULS, Endowment Fund (own edition) containing life stories of patients from all regions. The book was offically launched at the opening ceremony of the Marathon MaRS 2016.

Success of our event was fully apparent in spring 2016. Marathon MaRS 2016 had an unprecedented participation of 2,000 people in 23 cities, both in the Czech Republic and abroad.

We warmly thank all our partners, volunteers and supporters from patient organizations Czech MS Society Roska Union and Civic SocietySMS, representatives of cities and regions, physicians and therapists without whom the expedition "Seeking 16 Thousand" could not have been realized.
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