SARASOTA, Fla., March 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Living with multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic, typically progressive disease involving damage to nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, poses unique challenges for every individual. To recognize the family, friends, healthcare teams and advocacy organizations who offer vital support to those living with the disease, MSWorld, the largest all-patient-run MS organization worldwide, and biotechnology company Biogen, created #MySupportHero. This MS Awareness Month program encourages people living with MS to virtually thank and recognize their support partners for their ongoing help, care and strength.
While every experience is different, many people living with MS report feeling overwhelmed at times. As the disease progresses, they—along with their support partners—will likely face physical and emotional challenges such as fatigue, depression and stress.1 During these times, support partners can offer much appreciated assistance, including a reassuring presence at doctor's appointments, help navigating treatment, nutrition and exercise discussions, and importantly, a reason to laugh and enjoy life beyond MS.
"Living with MS for nearly thirty years, I've learned the value of receiving help from others," said Kathleen Wilson, Founding President and CEO of MSWorld. "Regardless of what the challenges are, so often just the right words or assistance has the potential to transform fear and loss into hope and courage to embrace another day. We want to offer people in the MS community a platform to celebrate their support partners by joining the #MySupportHero conversation and adding to the virtual garden of orange flowers online."
People living with MS can participate by:
- Offering words of appreciation on social media using the #MySupportHero hashtag
- Retweeting posts from @MSWorld_Inc and @BiogenMS that contain the program's virtual orange flower, which symbolizes MS awareness and a gesture of thanks
- Sharing posts on MSWorld Facebook and Pinterest that include the virtual orange flower
The MS community can personalize their messages to those who help empower them to rise above MS.
"For nearly 40 years, Biogen has been dedicated to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people with MS by developing a broad range of therapies, as well as comprehensive support programs to help advance the care of patients," said Mike Krzan, Vice President, Patient Services, Biogen. "We believe that navigating a successful MS journey extends beyond medication. Support partners provide an invaluable source of strength and inspiration, and we're proud to partner with MSWorld to honor these unsung heroes."
About Multiple Sclerosis
MS affects the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. Symptoms may be mild or severe, ranging from numbness in the limbs to paralysis or loss of vision. Worldwide, it is estimated that more than 2.3 million people are currently living with MS.
Founded in 1996 by Kathleen Wilson, Founding President and CEO, MSWorld has grown from 6 people in a chat room to the largest all-patient-run MS organization worldwide, serving well over 150,000 members living with MS. MSWorld provides online support and information to people living with MS, including the official chat and message boards of the National MS Society, and various MSWorld Centers, such as Resource, Conference, Wellness, and Creative Centers along with social networking connections. From the beginning, Kathleen Wilson has stated, "The primary mission of MSWorld is to end the isolation that people experience when diagnosed with MS. We believe that knowledge is power and peer support is invaluable." Visit MSWorld.org to learn more.
Through cutting-edge science and medicine, Biogen discovers, develops and delivers to patients worldwide innovative therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, hematologic conditions and autoimmune disorders. Founded in 1978, Biogen is one of the world's oldest independent biotechnology companies and patients worldwide benefit from its leading multiple sclerosis and innovative hemophilia therapies. For product labeling, press releases and additional information about the company, please visit www.biogen.com.
To learn about Biogen's support services for people affected by MS, please visit www.AboveMS.com.
1 Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis, "Stress and MS." http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis.org/About-MS/Causes-of-MS/Stress/. Accessed: March 1, 2016.
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