You’ve been recently diagnosed with MS: now what? Where do you go to find information free from unpronounceable medical jargon (besides here, of course)? How do you understand the reality of living with your symptoms? Who’s going to be there to support you along this new path your life is taking?
These six organizations are the best places to start, from jargon-free advice to community support, you can find almost everything you’ll need through these online resources.
1. MS LifeLines
If you’re part of the 80 percent of people living with relapsing MS, MS LifeLines is here to support you. Alongside helpful articles, there’s a team of more than 200 nurses, ambassadors and financial support specialists always available 24/7. In need of day-to-day medical advice – call a LifeLine nurse. Feeling alone and wanting to speak to someone who “really gets it”? Call a Lifeline ambassador. Struggling with the worry of affordable healthcare and wanting guidance? Call a Lifeline financial specialist.
The best bits: A supportive Facebook group exceeding 198, 000 members, over-the-phone advice from real people and a search engine for finding in-person events (U.S. only).
Founded in 1946, the NMSS has an admirable mission: to help people affected by MS live the best lives possible while also working towards stopping MS in its tracks. With this mission in mind, their site features a fantastic research section where you can keep up to date on the results of recent MS research and even volunteer to participate in clinical trials or surveys.
The best bits: Live online chat, resources for living well naturally and the society’s Walk MS event to raise funding for finding a cure.
Want to take action to improve your life with MS? MSAA is the place to do it. Since the 1970s, the organization has been dedicated to providing free support and services to those living with MS, their families and caregivers. Their site features everything from an award-winning MS blog to an MS resource locator to free assistive equipment.
The best bits: A lending library of free MS support DVDs and CDs, award-winning MS help videos and a free My MS manager mobile app helping you track MS progression and medication.
With over 57, 000 members, one million posts and 48, 000 topics, the Patients Like Me MS forum is a great resource for sharing your stories of living with MS. The site also features data-driven analysis from surveys completed by thousands of MS sufferers. This allows you to take a look at the most common symptoms others experience alongside the medications they’ve found success with.
The best bits: Access MS survey data to help you to understand real-life symptoms and medication outcomes, active message boards and a search function to help find companions with the same MS symptoms as you.
Living with MS is sometimes isolating and it’s the sole mission of Shift.ms to stop you from ever having to feel lonely. Their social network aims to create a “positive, enabling community which empowers MSers to acknowledge their MS, rethink how to achieve their ambitions and get on with their lives.” If at points you’ve felt alone, Shift.ms is the community you’ve been missing. Alongside films on diagnosis, short video clips from MS reporters and rough guides to share with family and friends there’s most importantly a speak easy forum, a find MSers search tool and a meet-up page.
The best bits: Social groups based on something other than your MS symptoms, find MSers search tool (global) and MS stories sharing positive MS experiences.
The site to visit if you’re looking for help and support towards maintaining your health and well-being while living with MS. All the services this non-profit organization provides are for free, helping you to find better days. Their “Get educated” and “Get help” sections provide everything from booklets to one-page fact sheets helping to explain MS symptoms simply. Great resources for you and for your loved ones.
The best bits: An online radio and YouTube channel, a free of charge lending library and downloadable brochures detailing the in-person help and support available to you.
Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.