Local Woman Enlists Bo Peep, Her Sheep, and Humpty in Fight Against MS

WINDSOR’s Jacqueline “Jacq” Sembor may be nimble, and she may be quick, but this year she’s ditching the “jump” to, instead run with the candle stick! Joining her on her jog will be a slew of other nursery rhyme characters, including Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, and Little Bo Peep and her once lost sheep. An avid runner, Sembor, communications specialist at the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, is putting together Jacq B Nimble, Jacq B Quick, a fundraising team supporting the 2013 Run MS, A Spooktacular 5K.


Heidi Wiegel, of WEST HARTFORD, executive assistant at the chapter, is co-captain of the team. Gregory ran the 2012 5K, dressing up as a Pittsburg Steelers super-fan. This year, she plans to don a Humpty Dumpty costume, although she hopes to avoid a great fall during the race.

The 2013 Run MS, A Spooktacular 5K, will take place on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Rentschler Field in EAST HARTFORD. The run raises funds and awareness to help find a cure for MS.

“I cannot think of a better way to get involved with one of my chapter’s events,” said Sembor, who has been running routinely throughout the summer to prepare for the race. “I have always been a casual runner who played with the idea of participating in a 5K. The National MS Society’s run is the perfect motivation to get me to the starting line.”

Sembor and Wiegel both agreed that running on a team for the first time will be a great experience.

“Serving as a team captain is pushing me to not only fundraise, but also to encourage my teammates to channel their Halloween spirit to find some of their own festive fundraising ideas,” shared Sembor, who is partnering with Ceniccola’s, in Branford, to host the first-ever Jacq B Nimble, Jacq B Quick Hog Wild Benefit Pig Roast.

Runners are encouraged to wear costumes and choose themes. In keeping with Sembor’s team theme, members will dress as characters from favorite nursery rhymes. Each one will also participate in raising funds to collectively raise as much money as possible to support people with multiple sclerosis.

The team is open to everyone, no matter how fast or slow, as long as they are willing to raise funds, cheer teammates on and dress up as the Muffin Man or, perhaps, even one of the three blind mice.

“Choosing a fun costume theme was key to building a sense of camaraderie,” explained Sembor, who graduated with honors in May from The University of Scranton, in Scranton, Penn. “I want us to come together, raise a ruckus on the course and cross the finish line feeling like we really made a difference.”

As an incentive to get more people to join the team, Sembor’s boss, Karen Butler, vice president of communications, has promised that if Sembor recruits 20 people to join Jacq B Nimble, Jacq B Quick, she will participate, despite having never taken part in a 5K, by running with the team. Butler, who lives in MANCHESTER, will even dress up as Little Bo Peep, running alongside her once lost sheep.

Since signing on to work for the National MS Society, Sembor and Wiegel have become dedicated contributors to the fight against MS.

“I have met so many interesting and inspirational individuals,” said Wiegel, who participates in multiple Connecticut Chapter events. “The excitement and passion that comes along with the events we host really makes me want to be a part of the society’s mission. It’s important to support our chapter as much as we can.”

Perhaps a more compelling and sobering reason is that they both have personal connections to MS. Sembor’s aunt has battled progressive MS for more than 20 years. She struggles daily with the effects of her illness. Approximately 11 years ago, one of Wiegel’s close friends was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

More than 6,000 Connecticut residents live with multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease affecting the central nervous system. The cause is unknown and there is currently no cure. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness, loss of mobility, and, in some more severe cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.

Team Jacq B Nimble, Jacq B Quick originally set a fundraising goal of $500. However, having already surpassed the goal, the stakes have been raised. The team is aiming to raise a minimum of $1,000.

Run MS takes place Saturday, Oct. 26, at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. The run features men’s and women’s timed divisions, vendors, costume contest, cash prizes, free samples, light refreshments and a finish line party. Free t-shirts are available for the first 200 runners to pre-register. Tees will be available for pick up the day of the run.

Check in begins at 8 a.m., and the 5K starts at 9 a.m. Rentschler Field is located at 615 Silver Lane, in EAST HARTFORD.

To learn more about the upcoming Jacq B Nimble, Jacq B Quick Hog Wild Pig Roast, visit Facebook. To register for Run MS, A Spooktacular 5K, or to join or donate to team Jacq B Nimble, Jacq B Quick, visit ctfightsMS.org.


By Caitlin Shaffer, National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter Intern