The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada is launching a virtual effort that seeks to connect multiple sclerosis (MS) communities across the country and raise funds for research in observance of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month in Canada.
As part of the initiative, called #WeChallengeMS, Canadian residents are asked to rally May 24 at the society’s first virtual MS Walk fundraiser. Supporters can create an online team and walk in their own neighborhoods on the same day. Register here.
The virtual effort serves as a way to offer support and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic while still practicing safe social distancing.
“This is a difficult time for all Canadians and for Canadians living with MS, these are especially challenging times as the global pandemic adds an additional stress to an at-risk population,” Pamela Valentine, president and CEO of the MS Society of Canada, said in a press release.
“As we navigate this new reality, it’s important to continue to come together as a community and support one another. Achieving a world free of MS will take all of us, and every action taken by each caring Canadian brings us closer. By communities helping each other, we can all challenge MS together,” she said.
With 11 Canadians diagnosed daily (on average), Canada has one of the world’s highest rates of MS.
The community-focused #WeChallengeMS effort is in keeping with the theme of this year’s MS Awareness Month: MS Connections, which underscores the importance of building communities and relationships.
“By fundraising and participating in #WeChallengeMS, while maintaining physical distancing, Canadians can help provide a sense of community and essential support to people affected by MS while continuing to fund the research that is so fundamental to changing their lives,” the society states in the press release.
As part of the campaign, Canadians also can turn ordinary activities such as baking, running, or cycling into fundraisers for MS research and support.
As an individual or part of a team, participants can set a fundraising goal for their run, bike ride, or workout, and share it with their social network. Creators — musicians, artists, or bakers, for example — can share their craft with their community.
Supporters may opt to host a virtual party fundraiser, complete with digital games and refreshments. Advocates also may ask friends to donate to the campaign on their behalf on their birthdays, or as part of a social media post about why an MS-free world is personally important.
Participants may choose to use a personal online activity — playing video games, live-streaming a music or comedy set, or teaching art, for instance — as a virtual fundraising effort.
For more information on #WeChallengeMS and how to participate, visit wechallengeMS.ca.
The MS Society of Canada provides information, support, and advocacy to patients and caregivers, and funds research to find an MS cure.
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