NEW YORK, May 27, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The World MS Day campaign led by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation unites MS organizations globally to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis and those living with MS in order to improve public understanding and support that will move us closer a world free of MS. This year some 70 MS organizations circling the globe, including the National MS Society, have events and planned "calls to action."
The 2015 World MS Day campaign theme is "access." Whether it is access to health care, support, work or educational opportunities, there are many barriers to access which people living with MS face in their everyday lives. The barriers to access faced by people with MS vary depending on where they are and their experience with MS.
MS organizations worldwide are encouraging people to join together and share their experiences with access barriers in order to help people better understand the complex nature of MS and unite them in the global MS movement. This includes access to diagnosis, treatment and support; access to buildings, travel and leisure facilities; and access to education, training and employment.
Being able to access the same tools, services and facilities that people who do not have MS enjoy is essential for people with MS to live their best lives. The National MS Society provides direct assistance or connections to community services that provide direct assistance for thousands of individuals living with MS across the country. These services include help with home modifications, transportation to medical appointments, access to durable medical equipment, health and wellness support, and other resources that allow people with MS to maintain their independence, safety, health and quality of life.
Connect To Break Down Barriers to Access Around the World On World MS Day:
- Highlighting and Sharing Access Issues – If you are living with MS or care about someone who is, think about access issues people with MS face and share how these access barriers are being broken down and how each instance makes you stronger than the challenges of MS, visit www.nationalMSsociety.org.
- For instance, Mitch in South Portland, Maine shared how he helped remove the access barriers on the Casco Bay Bridge which connects to Portland, Maine's largest city, for those like himself who are wheelchair users. His story includes advocacy tips like how to speak up, follow-through, evaluate details and thank those who help move your goals forward. http://worldmsday.org/stories/mitchs-story-access-to-public-spaces-2/
- Learn About Access Issues Around the World – Beginning on World MS Day, May 27th, visit www.worldmsday.org to learn about and explore access-related challenges and aspirations around the world. The MS movement is global and everyone, everywhere, deserves access to the means that will help them live their best lives.
- Send a message to a person or organization that has made life easier for people with MS. Let them know how they help or inspire you. http://www.worldmsday.org/take-part-2/sendamessage/
- How the National MS Society is Driving Awareness and Access to Lasting Change
- A nationwide wellness initiative and whitepaper is helping to explore what we know and need to know about diet, exercise and mood for those affected by MS. http://www.nationalmssociety.org/NationalMSSociety/media/MSNationalFiles/Brochures/WellnessMSSocietyforPeoplewMS.pdf
- "Access to High Quality MS Healthcare Principles" is educating constituents about specific access issues, the Society's work towards improving them and ultimately create readiness for people to take personal or requested actions to help make the principles a reality. http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Get-Involved/Advocate-for-Change/Take-Action/Access-to-High-Quality-Healthcare/Access-to-High-Quality-MS-Healthcare-Principles\
- The Society has committed an additional $28 million to support an expected 84 new research and training awards to stop MS, restore function and end MS http://www.nationalmssociety.org/About-the-Society/News/National-MS-Society-Invests-$28-Million-in-New-Res
- CNN - "Human to Hero" – is spotlighting award winning runner and Society Ambassador, Lipscomb University Freshman Kayla Montgomery. The segment is airing on CNN International – World Sports and on line at CNN.com and CNN international. http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/05/19/spc-human-to-hero-kayla-montgomery.cnn
- "End MS Forever" mural - Internationally acclaimed street artist Lydiaemily demonstrates how she and others are stronger than MS with her mural completed in Portland, OR for World MS Day as part of her four-city series of MS awareness murals that also include Austin,TX; Louisville, KY; and Los Angeles, CA. To commemorate the day, a "Make your Mark" signing event is set in Portland.
- Across the USA – In cities around the world, including in the USA, people affected by MS are leading and participating in events and initiatives designed to create awareness and action focused on access issues for those affected by MS, 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 $50.2 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