By Sarah Bultema

After a few of their friends and a co-worker were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Loveland’s Chad and Troy McWhinney committed to support people with the autoimmune disease and help find a cure for it. Now, the brothers are being celebrated for their efforts through the National MS Society Colorado Chapter’s 2010 Hope Award.

The annual statewide honor is given to community members who demonstrate outstanding leadership and commitment to helping people with the disease.

The award will be presented to the McWhinneys at the chapter’s dinner fundraiser in March.

“The exemplary support of the McWhinney brothers … reflects the strong commitment and generosity of community members to enhance the lives of people living with MS and find a cure,” Carrie Nolan, president of the chapter, said in a release.

The McWhinneys have supported the nonprofit for about five years, and last year the real estate developers hosted the Loveland’s Walk MS fundraiser at Chapungu Sculpture Park in Centerra.

Chad McWhinney said he and his brother were surprised and honored to receive the MS Society award, noting they hope to use it to continue raising awareness about multiple sclerosis.

With 400,000 people in the country living with the disease, he added, it’s more important than ever to fight back.

“We need to find a cure for it, and one way to do that is to demonstrate leadership in the community,” Chad McWhinney said. “Our company is big believers in demonstrating leadership, and we hope to continue to do that with the MS Society.”