Every Connection Counts During MS Awareness Week

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Share why you connect to the MS Movement and the National MS Society during national MS Awareness Week, March 2-8, 2015. Every connection counts at MS Connection.org where everyone has the opportunity to unite, raise awareness and find new ways to help people with MS live their best lives.

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This year, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s annual awareness campaign kicks off March 2–8 and will provide opportunities for people across the country to unite, raise awareness, and find new ways to help people with MS live their best lives. MS Awareness Week is a special week to recognize progress made and to inspire others to join the Society’s vision of a world free of MS.

Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

In just two decades, MS has moved from being an untreatable disease to one where there are now multiple disease modifying therapy options for those with relapsing MS, the most common form of the disease. And there are even more new therapies speeding through the pipeline that offer hope to people with all forms of this life altering disease.

Connect during MS Awareness Week – March 2-8 – And Beyond:

  • Every Connection Counts. Share your story and make meaningful connections–when, where and how you want at http://www.MSconnection.org. You can learn more about MS, join or start groups and discussions, find expert MS information, upload your own photo and connection to share with others, download tools to spread MS awareness, or register to participate in one of the Society’s special events in your area. Whether you volunteer, bike, walk, advocate, educate, or support–every connection you create moves us closer to a world free of MS and shows your commitment to the MS movement.
  • Other Opportunities to Connect. You can build connections, and view and share images, videos, and stories about your connections on the Society’s Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/nationalMSsociety. You can also spread the word using the hashtag #MSconnection.
  • Register for Walk MS. Walk MS is the rallying point of the MS Movement and the 2015 season kicks off this week! This year there are 533 events taking place across the country. Walk MS brings the community together to raise funds and celebrate hope for the future. Each year, nearly 333,000 people walk to create a world free of MS across the country.

MS Awareness Educational and Activist Efforts You Will See Across the Country:

  • Public Awareness Campaign—A multi-channel Public Service Awareness Campaign: MS Kills Connection > < Connection Kills MS features real people living with the effects of MS. Included in the campaign are Meredith Vieira and Richard Cohen as well as Noah “40” Shebib, the charismatic music producer and song writer who is a major contributing force to the rapper Drake’s meteoric rise to fame. The unique and powerful campaign was developed pro-bono in partnership with the renowned advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy. It was shot by the award-winning portrait photographer Martin Schoeller. The Connections Public Service Announcements will be spotlighted on mega-electronic billboards in New York City’s Times Square that have been donated by Clear Channel and Times Square 2 for millions of people to see during the month of March.
  • The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has approved two grants totaling $2.1 million to the National MS Society. One is to be used to support the Society’s Fast Forward commercial research program. The other is to support the evaluation of benefits and costs of MS Adult Day Programs in order to encourage third-party payers to provide coverage for these services as well as to spur the development of additional programs that will increase access of such adult programs across the country.
  • Live Webcast: Finding Answers for Progressive MS. On Wednesday, March 4, you can join a panel of experts for a live webcast on “Finding Answers for Progressive MS.” Topics will include updates on research, treatments, symptom management and rehabilitation. The webcast will culminate a research summit organized by the International Progressive MS Alliance which has invited some 100 scientists from around the world to move forward a global initiative to end progressive MS. The Alliance is cumulatively investing nearly $30 million over the next six years, initiating last year 22 research projects across 9 countries with additional projects to be announced later in 2015. To register for the webcast visit: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/About-the-Society/News/Live-Webcast-Finding-Answers-for-Progressive-MS.
  • Public Policy Conference in Washington, DC. As a follow-on to MS Awareness Week, approximately 325 MS Activists will gather for the Society’s annual public policy conference March 9-11, where they will make personal visits on Capitol Hill to advocate for issues that will help people with MS move their lives forward. These issues include sustained MS research funding through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), co-sponsorship of a bill that would create a separate benefit in Medicare for complex rehab technology, and co-sponsorship of legislation to create a data collection system to learn more about neurological diseases like MS.
  • Media support for building awareness and understanding about MS throughout the month of March is generating educational coverage by the Meredith Vieira Show, Working Mother magazine, Parents magazine, EveryDay Health, Healthline, Healthguru, and Lifescript, among other platforms. Additional details can be found by visiting these respective sites or by going to http://www.nationalMSsociety.org.
  • Across the U.S.A. In cities coast-to-coast, people affected by MS are creating awareness by lighting high-profile buildings and bridges in orange, hosting and attending community events that raise funds to drive MS research, collaborating with legislators to secure lasting changes in public policy, and sharing their stories of life with MS with the public through social media, letters to the editor, and news stories.

About the National MS Society

The Society mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. In 2014, the Society invested $50.2 million to advance more than 380 research projects around the world in order to stop MS in its tracks, restore what has been lost and end MS forever. Through its comprehensive nation-wide network of programs and services, it also helped more than one million people affected by MS connect to the people, information and resources needed to live their best lives.

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Arney Rosenblat
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