The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America Announces Swim for MS – Why I Swim Campaign

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) announces a national call for entries for the Swim for MS – Why I Swim campaign, through a collaborative sponsorship with Genzyme, a Sanofi company. Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) who currently swim or participate in water-based exercise programs are encouraged to visit and share their personal story about how water activities have impacted their lives.

Why I Swim is just the beginning of a larger effort from MSAA and Genzyme to raise awareness and understanding of water-based exercise programs as a positive wellness opportunity for the MS community. In addition to the Why I Swim campaign, MSAA is developing a variety of tools including print, video, and web-based educational materials on aquatic exercise and MS.

The Swim for MS – Why I Swim campaign will increase awareness and education about the value of swimming for people living with MS. Swimming is known to be one of the best exercises for all age groups and body types. It can be especially good for people with chronic conditions, such as MS. Research on the effects of aquatic therapy for individuals with MS has demonstrated benefits such as improved flexibility, muscle strength, mobility function, and quality of life.

“This campaign is a great way to showcase what individuals with MS are doing to actively impact their own quality of life,” said MSAA President and CEO, Douglas G. Franklin. “The unique properties of water and its cool temperature can create an ideal exercise environment for people with MS, including those who have difficulty with traditional land-based activities. Motivating more people to take part in a swim program is a great way to promote good health and wellbeing, consistent with our mission of improving lives today.”

MSAA will collect story submissions from December 4, 2013 through January 2, 2014. Once all submissions are received, MSAA will select three representatives to:

  • Have their personal stories professionally produced; as well as be featured on MSAA’s website and social media platforms
  • Be highlighted in MSAA’s national magazine, The Motivator, and other media opportunities
  • Receive a personalized training session with an aquatics fitness instructor
  • Be recognized as an inspiration to the MS community

“Supporting people living with MS is at the heart of everything we do at Genzyme, from developing innovative treatment options, to sponsoring programs like Swim for MS,” said Carole Huntsman, VP and MS Business Unit Head, North America, Genzyme. “We are so proud to partner with MSAA on this important effort to provide motivation and resources to help the MS community stay active in new and different ways.”

Please visit for more information on MSAA’s national Swim for MS – Why I Swim campaign. For questions, contact Sarah Masino, Community Relations Coordinator at (800) 532-7667, extension 122 or via email at

About MSAA

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. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with professional consultants; award-winning publications, including MSAA’s magazine, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website (at, 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; 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 or call (800) 532-7667.

About Genzyme, a Sanofi Company

Genzyme has pioneered the development and delivery of transformative therapies for patients affected by rare and debilitating diseases for over 30 years. We accomplish our goals through world-class research and with the compassion and commitment of our employees. With a focus on rare diseases and multiple sclerosis, we are dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of the patients and families we serve. That goal guides and inspires us every day. Genzyme’s portfolio of transformative therapies, which are marketed in countries around the world, represents groundbreaking and life-saving advances in medicine. As a Sanofi company, Genzyme benefits from the reach and resources of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, with a shared commitment to improving the lives of patients. Learn more at

About Sanofi

Sanofi, an integrated global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

About Multiple Sclerosis

The most common neurological disorder diagnosed in young adults, multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. This disorder damages or destroys the protective covering (known as myelin) surrounding the nerves, causing reduced communication between the brain and nerve pathways. Common symptoms include visual problems, overwhelming fatigue, difficulty with balance and coordination, and various levels of impaired mobility. MS is not contagious or fatal.