Help Support World MS Day - May 26, 2010; Join with 62 Countries to Mobilize the Global MS Movement

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Economic Impact of MS in US Alone $28 Billion Annually; R&B Legend Walter Williams of The O’Jays Announces He Has MS and Joins Fellow Celebs to Raise Awareness for MS

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World MS Day is so important because it reinforces that MS is a global disease, which demands global awareness, a global movement and global action.

This year on May 26, the world unites once more in the MS movement to highlight the international effects of multiple sclerosis (MS). Organized by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) with the help of MS Societies in 62 countries, including the United States, the day will be marked by more than 200 events around the world in a concerted effort to build awareness for MS and enhance collaboration that will bring us closer to a world free of multiple sclerosis.

This year to bring home the importance of what an MS diagnosis can mean, which occurs hourly in the US, the MSIF initiated the first global survey covering 125 countries and examining the “Global Impact of Multiple Sclerosis.” Estimates among the 15 nations tracking such data, indicate that the average annual costs of MS to the person affected and society as a whole to be $41,335, and most currently in the US, $69,118. Based on an MS population in the U.S. of 400,000 that would mean the total yearly impact of MS in the United States is $28 billion. Loss of employment, or early retirement, was considered to be the single largest factor contributing to this financial cost.

MS is found in every country in the world, and is one of the most common neurological diseases amongst people in their 20s and 30s. It is a prime of life disease striking just when people are building their careers and families. MS affects at least twice as many women as men and up to 60% of people diagnosed with MS will experience long-term disability, though continuing medical breakthroughs have brought partially effective treatments to many.

How to Get Involved in World MS Day
Think globally and act locally by:

  •     Registering at
  •     Volunteering at your local Society chapter
  •     Text MSAWARE to 20222 to donate $5 to the National MS Society

“World MS Day is so important because it reinforces that MS is a global disease, which demands global awareness, a global movement and global action," said Joyce Nelson, President and CEO of the U.S. National MS Society.


Names You Know

Walter Williams, living legend and co-founder of the hit R&B group The O’Jays has chosen World MS Day to announce that he is a part of the global MS Movement and has been successfully living and working with MS, thanks in large part to the help of disease modifying therapies, for more than 25 years. Just some of The O’Jays hit songs include “Love Train,” “Lovin’You,” and “For the Love Of Money.” Walter was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

Alessandra Ambrosio – Victoria’s Secret Super model has recorded a special message in support of World MS Day in honor of her dad who has multiple sclerosis.

Clay Walker – country music star is doing a live Twitter Q&A 7PM, EST. Tweet your questions to @ClayWalker using #WorldMSDay hash tag (

Research Advances

MS Stem Cell Research
Researchers, working with a panel of people impacted by MS, pave the way for the first coordinated international approach to MS stem cell research by publishing a consensus guide on the future of stem cell transplantation research which establishes a coordinated global approach to speed research, the development of potential therapies, and improve patient access to stem cell clinical trials.

Small-scale trials of stem cells, such as adult mesenchymal stem cells (from bone marrow and other bodily tissues), are underway:

CCSVI Research
Coordinating and leveraging the resources available through the worldwide network of MS Societies, an international review panel is meeting to determine initial CCSVI grants to be announced on June 14th:

Fast Forward
The Society’s subsidiary devoted to bridging the gap between research and drug development has announced funding for new biotech companies -- Canbex Therapeutics, London for the development of treatment for spasticity and Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc. in San Francisco for pre-clinical testing of biological molecule.

Campaigns To Follow

WPT® Texas Hold ‘Em Poker on Facebook, the most popular international poker brand is now available on the Facebook platform as a free-to-play game developed by FunClick. They are offering a two-week Chips for Charity promotion to support MS research. For details visit

We Keep Moving culminates its 10-week reality road trip across America where it chronicled the stories of people living with MS who are moving their lives forward despite challenges. The unique interactive documentary is told by a creative team living with MS themselves. Each week, visitors to the site voted to determine the film crew’s weekly destination. In 10 weeks the crew crisscrossed the country and traveled well over 100,000 miles to tell the stories of people living with MS:

World MS Day initiatives are taking place in the following countries:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, UK, Uruguay, USA.

About the U.S. National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The Society addresses the challenges of each person affected by MS by funding cutting edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, collaborating with MS organizations around the world, and providing programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. In 2009 alone, through our national office and 50 state network of chapters, we devoted over $132 million to programs that enhanced more than one million lives. To move us closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested nearly $40 million to support 375 research projects around the world. To learn more about multiple sclerosis and the work of the Society visit

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Arney Rosenblat
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