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Astoria man raises thousands for MS research ahead of Citi Field climb fundraiser

Andrew Amenn is participating in an MS fundraiser for his father, Scott, who was diagnosed six years ago. Photo courtesy of Andrew Amenn

April 30, 2024 By Iryna Shkurhan

One Astoria resident has raised thousands of dollars for multiple sclerosis research as part of the National MS Society’s 15th Annual Climb to the Top at Citi Field next month. 

Andrew Amenn committed to the climb and set an ambitious fundraising goal in honor of his father and best friend, Scott, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in April 2018. He is currently living with primary progressive MS, a rarer form of the disease that disrupts the nervous system’s flow of information between the brain and body.

His father’s struggle with the incurable disease, which affects almost 1 million people in the country, inspired him to participate in the fundraising event. Amenn says that his father’s inability to work due to his disability has also taken an emotional toll on him. 

“Every day, I see him make an effort to try to get better by making sure he is going to his doctor’s appointments, working out, and doing what he can to make sure we don’t view him as weak,” Amann said. “Seeing him struggle with it, and I’m always with him because he is disabled now, is hard.”

Come May 4, Amenn will join hundreds of others in a one-of-a-kind experience where participants climb up and down the stadium steps serpentine-style until the finish line. The annual event is also held at Gillette Stadium in Boston and Oracle Park in San Francisco. 

To be able to climb, participants must raise at least $250 that goes towards finding a cure. But Amenn set an ambitious goal of raising $6,000, and is very close to reaching it. 

His team, “Queens Finest,” which is made up of two of his friends who have been supportive throughout the difficult journey, has already raised over $5,550, making them some of the top fundraisers for this year’s climb. 

The trio work together at Donovan’s Pub in Woodside and say they’ve bonded like brothers over the years. Amenn noted that his friends have been a crucial support system for his family. 

“It’s definitely hard watching my dad with this disease, but what gives me hope is the increase in awareness that is happening,” he explained. “I’m sure the more that we can get the word out there, and the more research that’s conducted, maybe it can be one of those things of the past.”

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