Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

May 01, 2007 09:01 ET

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada Champions MS Awareness Month

Ultimate goal for national charity is to end MS

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 1, 2007) - Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world and women are diagnosed with the disease three times more frequently than men. These are two stark facts that serve as motivation for those who work to end the disease.

"It is with some humility that we acknowledge Canada as being a country with high prevalence of MS," says Yves Savoie, president and chief executive of the MS Society of Canada and president of the MS Society, Ontario Division. "However, it is with great pride that I say that Canada is a world-wide leader in MS research and tens of thousands of Canadians are committed to ending MS in as short a time as possible."

During May, MS Awareness Month, volunteers from around the country are taking part in fundraising events like the MS Carnation Campaign. Every year during the lead-up to Mother's Day, carnations are sold in over 280 public spaces to generate awareness of MS and raise funds for the cause. The campaign kicks off with a boutonniere-pinning event with MPs on Parliament Hill on May 9.

Meanwhile, the Super Cities WALK for MS, a community walk program in 160 locations across Canada, continues in Atlantic Canada as well as parts of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan. Last year, the walk events raised over $12 million nationally and organizers are hoping for more this year.

"The MS Society is at the centre of a community of impassioned, dedicated and active people focused on improving lives for people affected by MS," says Savoie. "With this support, we are able to transform funds raised into life-changing MS research and services."

Other national events include:

- The annual MS Bequest Week takes place the last week of May. Canadians can learn more about financial planning and how to make a lasting legacy to end MS by calling 1-866-MS WILLS.

- Home hardware retailer, RONA, will be selling paper "Keys to a Cure" at store cash registers in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC. Proceeds will be donated to the MS Society.

- A series of MS awareness posters and ads has been released on www.mssociety.ca for use by both the media and the general public.

"MS Awareness Month is an opportunity to reflect on the many lives that are affected by MS," says Savoie. "It reminds all who are involved in the cause - researchers, volunteers, clients, employees and family members - that our resolve cannot waver. We need to fund research and provide services so we can continue to help those living with MS today while we work toward an MS-free future."

For more information on multiple sclerosis or how to get involved with MS Awareness Month, please call 1-800-268-7582 or visit www.mssociety.ca.

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