SAN ANGELO, Texas — After battling multiple sclerosis since 2012, one man from San Angelo has decided to do something about it.

He’s going to run.

As part of America’s first and only cross-country relay run, he is taking on a 167-mile-long segment of a 3,260-mile-long journey — all to raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis.

Rich Stein, a produce manager for Market Street in San Angelo, said one day in 2012 he woke up blind in his right eye for no apparent reason. He said he spent the better part of a week in the hospital undergoing tests and treatments.

“I left the hospital facing a 30-minute drive home with only the vision of my left eye,” Stein said. “That, and a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, a disease of which I was completely unaware until just then. I had no idea what having multiple sclerosis would mean for the rest of my life.”

After eight years of learning how to live life with a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, Stein said he had a hunger to push his body to its limits through running. That’s when he found MS Run the US.

“MS Run the US is dedicated to raising awareness and funds to support multiple sclerosis research, and to aid those living with disability due to MS,” he said. “The Ultra-Relay Run is an annual event that selects 19 runners to each run 160-miles over 6 days; city by city, state by state across America.”

Stein set a fundraising goal of $10,000 for MS research and a cure. His employer, Market Street and the United Family, donated $5,000 to his goal and created hats and shirts to be sold with all proceeds going towards Stein’s goal. Stein’s portion of the run will start on August 2 in Ohio and will finish six days later in Pennsylvania.

For more information or to donate, visit the following web address: People can also follow along with Stein’s journey on Instagram at: running_greatly_with_ms

While people can contribute through monetary donations, they can also join Stein in completing his goal. Through the hometown challenge, people can set a goal to walk or run 160 miles over a six-week span to support Stein. Participants would begin June 5 and try to complete their miles by when Stein begins his own trek in Ohio.