Did you know Multiple Sclerosis impacts hundreds of thousands of people in the United States, as well as those who love and care for them? There is currently no known cure and most people living with the disease had no prior recognizable risk factors. To help those impacted, advocacy groups and concerned organizations and individuals have helped designate the month of March as Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. The annual event is dedicated to increasing public education, advancing research, and supporting those in need.
Multiple Sclerosis is a central nervous system disorder that is mostly diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 50. MS damages or destroys the protective covering, known as myelin, surrounding the nerves of the central nervous system and causes reduced communication between the brain and nerve pathways. This leads to a variety of health symptoms, including visual problems, overwhelming fatigue, difficulty with balance and coordination, and various levels of impaired mobility.
This March, you might see orange ribbons with butterfly symbols. Orange is the official color of MS awareness, and the butterfly represents the shape commonly seen on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans of someone with MS. There are a number of ways to show support regardless of whether you are personally impacted or not. Let us share a few of them with you right here on our blog.
- Popular Fundraising Events. Fundraising for MS research is not only critical, but it can also be fun. Look up Walk MS, Challenge Walk MS, and Bike MS, and search for exercise fundraising events near you.
- Conferences and Meetings. MS-oriented conferences and meetings offer opportunities to learn and network with those who may be similarly impacted by the disease. Visit the NMSS Public Policy Conference website for more information, or the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) conference webpage.
- Volunteer. There is no shortage of volunteer opportunities to serve the MS community. Get involved, get training, and find out where you can help in your local area.
- Spread the Word. One of the easiest ways to participate in Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month is to help raise awareness online. Join a Facebook community, use social media hashtags like #ChangeALifeMSAA, or share a video series produced by the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America.
The support of loved ones, care partners, and participating Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month organizations is vital to improving the quality of life for those living with the disease. We encourage you to ask us your questions. As an elder law firm we understand the challenges you face and want to help you plan for now, as well as into the future.