MS = How Do you Put a Face on a Disease that Affects Each Person Differently? Find Out On World MS Day, May 25

May 25, 2011, 07:03 ET from National Multiple Sclerosis Society

More than 62 countries around the globe raising awareness

Global Survey Indicates that Nearly Half of People who Leave Work Because of MS Do So Within First Three Years of Diagnosis

NEW YORK, May 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Multiple sclerosis is a life altering disease that affects each person in a unique and different way.   Demonstrating the power and importance of the global MS movement as a force by and for people living with MS, people around the world are coming together for World MS Day, today -- May 25.


World MS Day is an international awareness campaign taking place in more than 62 countries.  Supporting World MS Day is a global survey of employers looking at work-based polices that could enable people with MS and other chronic fluctuating conditions to stay at work. The results are released in a report entitled: "Multiple sclerosis at work: an employer's perspective."  A global survey of people with MS done in 2009-2010 indicated that 47% of individuals who left the workplace because of MS did so within first three years of diagnosis.  

To assist individuals who are still employed and experiencing MS-related work issues for the first time, the National MS Society offers a revised consumer education program, "Career Crossroads: Employment and MS" that is available for chapters and their constituents.   For further information about the seven part series with accompanying video or other employment issues visit:

For news and pictures of World MS Day activities around the world, see   Awareness building and educational conferences and symposiums are set from Australia, to China, to India, to Mexico, to Turkey and Saudi Arabia.  Here in the U.S. a live webcast on "Working Toward Your Best Life: Advances in Quality of Life Research" is now set for June 22nd and a podcast on the importance of a holistic approach to MS research can be found at

There are more than 2.1 million people living with multiple sclerosis - -an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the body.  

On World MS Day, find out how you can be a part of the movement to create a world free of MS and learn what MS means to the hundreds of thousands of people living with the daily challenges of MS. Visit

  • Share what MS equals to you at or on  If you tweet you can share what MS means to you with "MS= <insert your own message> to me" using the  #MSEquals  hashtag. On Flickr, you can upload a photo about what MS = by using MSEquals
  • Whether you volunteer, bike, walk, advocate, educate, support – every action is a way of moving us closer to a world without multiple sclerosis and shows your commitment to the MS movement.  It also helps to motivate the potentially millions of people who want to, and can, do something about MS now.
  • From the Society's national site you will find ways to build the MS movement. You can even find out how you can share your own video story, download web banners, sign up to participate in or volunteer for Walk MS or Bike MS or some other special event offered by a chapter near you.
  • See and share the "MS =" video on YouTube:

What does MS= to you?

The Society is collecting and displaying on its homepage " MS = " responses contributed to its MSequals site and Facebook pages.    Just a few of the thoughts shared by people you might know:    http://

  • "MS = A family's love and support," states supermodel  Alessandra Ambrosio
  • "MS = Challenges and Victory," stresses author David Baldacci
  • "MS = An Inspiration," says Top Chef Richard Blais
  • "MS = Exploring possibilities with and for MS," says sports figure Wendy Booker
  • "MS = Speed bumps," quips  actor Teri Garr
  • "MS = no opportunity wasted,"  reminds The Amazing Race host, Phil Keoghan
  • "MS = A great dress rehearsal for old age," observes actor/comedian David Lander
  • "MS = Multiple stress, yet multiple solutions," says activist/artist Kathy Lander
  • "MS = Reminding myself that I never really wanted to be a tight rope walker anyway," retorts  actor/comedian Jonathan Katz
  • "MS = A TESTimony," testifies singer Alan Osmond
  • "MS = Focusing on my abilities... not my disabilities,"  advises singer David  Osmond
  • "MS = remembering the quiet daily struggles of dear friends,"  says actor Bill Pullman
  • "MS = Winning the Fight for a Cure," rallies NFL coach Norv Turner
  • "MS = Taking care of my health, so I can take care of the ones I love," offers country music singer/song writer Clay Walker
  • "MS = Relentless pursuit of happiness," says The O'Jays founder/lead singer Walter Williams

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 the body. Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with the disease. 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 more than twice as many women as men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S. and 2.1 million worldwide.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The Society addresses the challenges of each person 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 living with MS and their families move forward with their lives.

In 2010 alone, through its national office and 50-state network of chapters, the Society devoted $159 million to its programs and services that assisted more than one million people. To move us closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested $37 million to support 325 new and ongoing research projects around the world. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. Join the movement at

SOURCE National Multiple Sclerosis Society