To celebrate the many family, friends, healthcare professionals, and advocacy communities offering vital support to people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) day after day, MSWorld and Biogen have created the #MySupportHero program. The social media campaign runs through March, MS Awareness Month, to allow people with MS to thank all those who encourage and assist them, giving them the attention, care, and strength they need.
“Living with MS for nearly thirty years, I’ve learned the value of receiving help from others,” Kathleen Wilson, MSWorld’s founding president and CEO, said in a press release. “Regardless of what the challenges are, so often just the right words or assistance has the potential to transform fear and loss into hope and courage to embrace another day. We want to offer people in the MS community a platform to celebrate their support partners by joining the #MySupportHero conversation and adding to the virtual garden of orange flowers online.”
Support heroes can range from professionals to companions, the organizations said — all those who serve to be a reassuring presence at a doctor’s appointment, offer help in navigating treatments, nutrition or exercise, and serve as company, giving patients reasons to laugh and enjoy life in ways that have nothing to do with their disease.
MS patients can participate by:
- Using the #MySupportHero hashtag on social media to express their thanks
- Retweeting @MSWorld Inc and @BiogenMS posts that include the program’s virtual orange flower, both to symbolize MS awareness and as a gesture of appreciation
- Sharing any posts on MSWorld’s Facebook or Pinterest pages, including the virtual orange flower
MSWorld is one of the largest patient-run MS organizations worldwide, providing online support, programs, and information to people living with MS, including the official chat and message boards of the National MS Society. Its “primary mission,” Ms. Wilson said, “is to end the isolation that people experience when diagnosed with MS. We believe that knowledge is power and peer support is invaluable.”
Biogen is a biotech company developing therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, hematologic conditions, and autoimmune disorders, with products and support services specifically targeting MS.
MS, a chronic and progressive disease that damages the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, can make even the smallest of daily tasks a constant challenge. Its physical symptoms can range from numbness in the limbs to paralysis or loss of vision, and it carries an emotional cost as well, with many patients reporting feelings of fatigue, depression and stress. An estimated 2.3 million people worldwide are living with MS.
“For nearly 40 years, Biogen has been dedicated to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people with MS by developing a broad range of therapies, as well as comprehensive support programs to help advance the care of patients,” said Mike Krzan, vice president of Patient Services at Biogen. “We believe that navigating a successful MS journey extends beyond medication. Support partners provide an invaluable source of strength and inspiration, and we’re proud to partner with MSWorld to honor these unsung heroes.”