Patients are invited under the initiative to go to the MSIsOnMyMind.com website and finish the sentence “MS is on my mind when _______.”
In this manner, patient’s real-life experiences can be expressed — whether they be of appreciation, struggle, achievement, or challenge — and shared with others through short statements, images and GIFs, or templated responses that are offered on the site.
Experiences expressed by the MS community will also be used as inspiration for the campaign’s creative director Lydia Emily Archibald, an artist who lives in Los Angeles, to produce thought-provoking work that helps to illustrate the disease’s impact on patients and families. Archibald was diagnosed with MS in 2014.
“MS is on my mind when I need to strap paintbrushes to my hands in order to paint, but I am grateful that I can still continue doing what I love,” Archibald said in a press release.
“That’s why I’m encouraging the MS community to share their experiences — whether it’s times when they are celebrating successes or dealing with the challenges of the disease. I’ll use the submissions we receive as inspiration for artwork that reflects the many ways MS impacts individuals,” Archibald added.
EMD Serono (known as Merck KGaA outside of the United States and Canada) plans to collaborate with MS advocacy and caregiver organizations, in addition to the MS community, to generate actionable resources and programming grounded on patients’ real-life struggles with the aim of improving the lives of MS patients and their caregivers. This second phase of this program is planned to take place in 2019.
“We want to learn from the MS community and work hand-in-hand to make a positive difference,” said Rehan Verjee, president of global head of innovative medicine franchises at EMD Serono. “This adds to our renewed commitment to continue to advance the science of MS in the hopes of one day finding a way to stop MS.”
As part of social media’s #MSInsideOut campaign, the company also premiered the documentary ‘Seeing MS from the Inside Out‘ at the 34th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS).
This documentary, developed with the MS social media group Shift.ms as executive producers, pairs artists, such as Archibald, and people from across the MS community in an effort to convey the experience of living with MS or being impacted by MS through art.