NEW YORK, March 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Creating a world free of multiple sclerosis requires a collaborative effort. That's why starting today, March 3, individuals and MS groups across the country unite to raise awareness and find new and better ways to help people living with MS live their best lives.
This year, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's annual awareness campaign kicks off the week of March 3 –9 and will provide everyone who wants to connect to the MS Movement the opportunity to share their own image and story at www.MSconnection.org. While on the site, visitors can also connect with thousands of people supporting one another and exploring issues that matter to people living with MS.
MS is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system which interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.
Advancing MS research is one of the National MS Society's highest priorities. Right now, the Society is devoting nearly $50 million to support some 380 research projects around the world while providing programs and services to over a million people annually. It is also fostering global collaborations and increasing annual investments yearly to drive solutions that will stop MS progression, restore function that's been lost, and end MS forever.
In just two decades, MS has moved from being an untreatable disease to one where there are at least 10 treatment 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 3-9- And Beyond:
- The Society's Connection to spearhead MS Research - The Society is announcing in March a new funding commitment totaling over $29 million to support 83 new research and training projects worldwide. These include innovative studies investigating the potential of adult stem cells for repairing the nervous system; research to determine how dietary salt and the gut's microbiome may impact MS; funding to train MS specialists who can provide the best care; and high-risk pilot projects to test breakthrough ideas.
- Every Connection Counts - share your story and connect with others at www.MSconnection.org. Visitors can learn more about MS, upload their own photo and connection to share with others, download tools to spread MS awareness, or register to participate in Walk MS or Bike MS or another conveniently located Society event. Visitors can also build connections, view and share images, video, and stories about their connections on the Society's Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/nationalMSsociety. If they tweet, they can spread the word using the #MSconnection hash tag.
- Find famous faces on MSconnection.org - There are a multitude of famous faces who are celebrity MS ambassadors. Learn why they connect to the MS Movement. They include, among others, Alessandra Ambrosio, Ryan Asdourian, Tyler Campbell, Courtney Galiano, Phil Keoghan, Zoe Koplowitz, Shemar Moore, Jack Osbourne, David Osmond, Bill Pullman, Rain Pryor, Julie Roberts, Lauren Bedford Russell, Noah "40" Shebib, Richard Cohen and Meredith Vieira, Clay Walker, and Tom Wallisch. Fans can also look for celebrity postings on their individual face book pages and twitter accounts
- Times Square: The 2014 Connections Public Service Announcements will be spotlighted on mega-electronic billboards in New York City's Times Square for millions of people to see during the month of March.
- In Washington, D.C. – The U.S Senate adopted a resolution (S.Res.366) expressing support for the goals and ideals of MS Awareness Week and a resolution is expected to be introduced in the House as well the first week in March. The Society also received a Presidential Message honoring people with MS.
As a follow-on to MS Awareness Week, over three-hundred MS Activists will gather for the Society's annual public policy conference, and to make personal visits on Capitol Hill to advocate for issues that will help people with MS move their lives forward, such as sustained MS research funding through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), robust funding of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), co-sponsorship of a bill that would create a separate benefit in Medicare for complex rehab technology, and support of the Congressional MS Caucus.
- 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 Multiple Sclerosis
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. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million worldwide.
About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The Society mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. To fulfill this mission, the Society funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, facilitates professional education, collaborates with MS organizations around the world, and provides programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. To move us closer to creating a world free of MS, last year alone, the Society invested nearly $50 million to support more than 380 new and ongoing research projects around the world while providing program services to over one million people. Join the movement at nationalMSsociety.org.
SOURCE National Multiple Sclerosis Society