MS Patient Donates $700,000 to Ochsner MS Work

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by Patricia Inacio, PhD |

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Desi Harrison, a multiple sclerosis (MS) patient and president of the nonprofit MS Warriors for a Cause, has donated $700,000 to support the Ochsner Neuroscience Institute.

The funds will help support research and care at the Ochsner Multiple Sclerosis Center to ensure that patients — like Harrison, who is followed at the center — continue to have access to cutting-edge treatments available for MS.

In recognition of Harrison’s support, the MS center will be named in her honor.

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“My heart is filled with gratitude for the Ochsner Neuroscience Institute and the Ochsner Multiple Sclerosis Center for helping me treat my progressive, debilitating disease,” Harrison said in a press release.

The goal of Harrison’s work at MS Warriors for a Cause is to foster support and education for MS patients. Harrison and the nonprofit have affected the lives of hundreds of patients at Ochsner every year by giving them access to social workers and the opportunity to join yoga classes for free.

Moreover, Harrison has invested thousands of dollars and countless hours in Ochsner’s research and philanthropic events.

“As a now retired banker, my energy has been redirected towards helping my fellow MS patients. It is my mission to give back, pay it forward and make a difference in the lives of those who suffer from MS. The compassion of my physician and her staff gives me the positive attitude I need to continue my work of supporting those who need it most,” Harrison said.

Harrison’s treatment is led by Ochsner Multiple Sclerosis Center’s director, Bridget Bagert, MD, who understands how impactful her donation will be to MS patients.

“On behalf of the Ochsner Neuroscience Institute, I am so incredibly grateful to Desi for not only this monetary donation, but also for her volunteerism,” Bagert said.

“She has committed so much of her time to helping other patients. Her warmth and compassion shines through as she navigates life with MS. Her gift will change and impact lives here at Ochsner and give our MS patients access to the most current treatment options and new research,” Bagert added.

The Ochsner Neuroscience Institute is a nationwide destination center focused on research and treatment of MS and other neurological conditions. It is ranked No. 31 on the Top 50 neurology and neurosurgery programs by U.S. News & World Report.

This year’s (2021-22) ranking marks the 10th consecutive year that the institute’s program has been included among the nation’s best. Currently, it is also the only hospital ranked in Louisiana and Mississippi.

To learn more about how to become a donor and support the Ochsner Multiple Sclerosis Center’s cause and mission, go here.

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