Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

May 01, 2012 09:42 ET

May is MS Awareness Month

Increasing Awareness Fosters Hope for People Living With MS

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 1, 2012) - Multiple sclerosis is a complex disease that affects each person differently. During MS Awareness Month, people touched by MS join together to raise awareness and support for the cause.

While the majority of people living with MS are diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), more than half will develop secondary-progressive MS within 10 years of their diagnosis; and 90 per cent will develop progressive MS within 25 years of their diagnosis. This May, the MS Society of Canada is raising awareness about MS, the most common neurological disease affecting young adults in the country.

"MS is a very hard thing to get beyond. My life right now is so different from what I thought it would be," says Michelle Amerie, an MS Society volunteer who developed progressive MS in 1992. "My advice to people diagnosed with MS is to do whatever it is that makes you feel alive. There are a lot of people that will help you go on, and there are a lot of supports that you can tap into."

"MS can be a challenging and life-changing disease. One day a person can feel great and the next day they can feel extremely fatigued or experience double vision. For people living with progressive MS, their symptoms may worsen day to day or plateau for weeks. Our urgent need for answers on progressive MS drives the increased need for progressive MS research," says Yves Savoie, president and CEO of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. "This May, the MS community will join together to let people know that no one has to face these challenges alone."

To further understand MS, the MS Society and the Multiple Sclerosis Scientific Research Foundation are funding a $3.8 million multi-centre grant to investigate the complex interplay between degeneration and inflammation in multiple sclerosis. This research may have special relevance for those with progressive forms of MS.

The MS Society also offers services to people affected by MS that can help them maintain their quality of life and deal with the issues related to the disease. These services and programs include information and referral, supportive counselling, self-help and support groups, financial assistance and recreation and social programs. Local communities need these resources since Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world.

This MS Awareness Month, the MS Society team up with the many Canadians who bring hope to those affected by MS. Some of the activities happening this year are:

  • Fundraising events, such as the MS Carnation Campaign and MS Walk, will take place across Canada to raise funds for MS research and provide services to those impacted by MS.

  • On May 9, MS Society volunteers will help launch the MS Carnation Campaign by presenting carnations to Members of Parliament as they enter the House of Commons. The MS Carnation Campaign will take place from May 10 to May 12 in more than 280 communities from coast-to-coast.

  • On May 12, Mr. Lube will donate $5 from every oil change to support the MS Society and people living with MS.

  • On May 30, Niagara Falls will be lit red to commemorate World MS Day.

  • The MS Research Teleconference will be held on May 31 to give participants the opportunity to ask questions about MS to Dr. Anthony Traboulsee, director of the University of British Columbia Hospital MS Clinic.

To know more about the MS Society or become involved with MS Awareness Month, contact your local MS Society chapter or division. Call 1-800-268-7582 or go to mssociety.ca.

About multiple sclerosis and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord. It is the most common neurological disease of young adults in Canada. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40, and the unpredictable effects of MS last for the rest of their lives. The MS Society provides services to people with MS and their families and funds research to find the cause and cure for this disease. Please visit mssociety.ca or call 1-800-268-7582 to make a donation or for more information.

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