MS Awareness Month Raises Awareness of Individuals Living with Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis Association of America Encourages Participants to “Swim for MS” and Support the MS Community
For the more than 400,000 Americans living with multiple sclerosis (MS), the support of loved ones, care partners and organizations such as the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is crucial to improving quality of life. To help increase awareness of this disease, MSAA is taking part in observing March as MS Awareness Month.
MS is a central nervous system disorder that affects approximately 2.5 million people worldwide. It is characterized by a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, weakness and mobility issues. While there is currently no cure for MS, there are treatments, therapies and medical devices that help individuals living with the disease manage the pain and discomfort it causes.
“Our mission at MSAA is to improve lives today for individuals living with MS and their loved ones,” says MSAA President and CEO Douglas Franklin. “Our services offer people with MS the assistance they need to live fuller lives, with greater comfort, safety and knowledge. MSAA’s resources including our website, publications and programs are all dedicated to providing vital information and support.”
MSAA provides a host of educational resources to the MS community including events and other programs, such as My MS Resource Locator®, an online database that helps connect individuals with resources in their area, a toll-free Helpline staffed by experienced specialists with a social services background, and programs offering cooling equipment, MRI assistance and other services.
These programs are all made possible, in part, by MSAA’s ongoing fundraiser, Swim for MS. Participants set a swimming-related challenge, and recruit friends and family to donate to MSAA when they reach their goal. Swim for MS challenges can be done in any pool, at any time, making it an easy way for supporters to raise funds and awareness for MSAA programs.
“March is an ideal time to join Swim for MS,” says Franklin. “To date, our participants have raised more than $320,000 to help fund programs that are making a significant difference in the lives of individuals living with MS.”
To learn more about Swim for MS, or to sign up to participate, visit MSAA’s Swim for MS page.
The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. Swim for MS is MSAA’s national fundraiser in which volunteers create their own swim challenge while recruiting online donations. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including MSAA’s magazine, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website, featuring award-winning educational videos and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.™ program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™ (named one of the best multiple sclerosis iPhone & Android apps by Healthline.com); a resource database, My MS Resource Locator; safety and mobility equipment distribution; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; educational events held across the country; MRI funding; and more. For additional information, please visit mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. MS damages or destroys the protective covering (known as myelin) surrounding the nerves of the CNS, and can potentially injure the nerves as well. This damage causes reduced communication between the brain and nerve pathways. Common MS symptoms include visual problems, overwhelming fatigue, difficulty with balance and coordination, and various levels of impaired mobility. Many experts estimate that 2.5 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with this disease, and most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 50. MS is not contagious and researchers continue to look for both a cause and a cure.