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Woman organizes cross-country run to battle MS

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HARTLAND (WITI) -- As each foot pounds the pavement during Ashley Kumlien's grueling runs, she draws inspiration from someone near and dear to her heart.

"My mom has an amazing ability to just be positive and to smile and to really face adversity with a strong will," says Ashley.

Ashley's mother, Jill, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1980 and her condition has since worsened.

Four years ago, Ashley decided to use her passion for running to help her mother.

She founded the nonprofit MS Run the US, and ran across the country to fundraise and draw attention to MS.

"I was shooting to raise $500,000 to help find a cure for MS and we didn't hit that mark so I was pretty disappointed about the funding we were able to inspire," says Ashley.

That disappointment made her decide to organize a run from California to New York, again!

But this time she is breaking it up into a relay race with 14 other runners.

"Running is one of those things that I think is very infectious and I love to share it with other people," says Ashley.

And this time, Ashley will run the last 10 miles of the race with her mom leading the way in a disability stroller.

"My mom is the featured runner for the finish because I couldn't think of any better person to give that honor to," says Ashley.

There's no doubt that Ashley's mother is beaming with pride and touched by her daughter's mission.

"I feel very blessed that I have a daughter that can do that for me," says Ashley's mother Jill.

As the relay kicks-off next month, Jill knows there's nothing her daughter can't handle as long as she has her positive attitude and a good pair of tennis shoes.

The MS Run the US Relay starts in April in Los Angeles and ends in September in New York City!

Ashley says she is grateful for her sponsor Money Mutual, but still needs more help.

More information on donating to the cause log on to msruntheus.com.