The National Multiple Sclerosis Society launched a new awareness campaign for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week, which runs through March 13, featuring the stories of people impacted by MS and a website with tips for overcoming daily disease challenges. The campaign, “Together We Are Stronger,” also recognizes the progress made in MS research and treatments that have improved patients’ quality of life, and seeks to inspire further efforts toward a cure.
The week is being marked by several MS awareness, educational and advocacy efforts across the U.S., according to a press release. These include shared “We Are Stronger” stories, like those of surfers Steve Bettis and Robert “Wingnut” Weaver, friends with MS, who are also surfing via virtual reality on numerous electronic billboards (whose space was donated by companies); a new 3-D animated educational video for the general public and healthcare professionals alike; the new website, offering MS stories and experiences confronting the disease’s difficulties and suggesting ways of solving them; new updates concerning the Society’s recently announced $1.5 million for specialized physician MS training; and efforts encouraging people to register for, and participate in, Walk MS events taking place coast to coast, with more than a dozen planned for this month alone.
These efforts will continue throughout March, which is also MS Awareness Month, and beyond, the MS Society said in the release.
Other noteworthy events included the Society announcing that it will dedicate $25 million to new MS research projects, and the recent 25th annual Public Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., where MS activists raised awareness with members of Congress and, elsewhere, with their state legislators. The Society will also sponsor the “New Integrative Health Care in MS Meeting” for physicians beginning an MS specialty, to help them integrate lifestyle and complementary approaches with conventional medicine. That meeting is set for March 31–April 1 in Denver, Colorado.
MS, an unpredictable and debilitating disease, affects an estimated 2.3 million people worldwide, according to the Society. The condition, which is often broadly divided into progressive MS and relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), has seen great improvements in terms of research funding and disease modifying therapies for its more common type, RRMS. The Society has invested more than $900 million to advance MS research, and is an essential platform to connect patients to valuable resources for life improvement.