Sunday, March 16, 2008

What Will You Do? Join the Movement to End Multiple Sclerosis During MS Awareness Week March 10-17

NEW YORK, March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- MS Awareness Week March 10 - 17 unites MS organizations and all those living with the effects of multiple sclerosis nationwide in an effort to shine a spotlight on ways that we can move together toward ending MS, a disease where someone is newly diagnosed each hour.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society invites people across the county to join the movement to move us closer to a world free of MS by taking simple actions throughout the week, as part of a worldwide "Seven Days of Action." These activities, just a click away, are designed to be meaningful and easy, whether you are a newcomer or longtime member of the MS Movement. They include:

-- Visiting http://www.nationalmssociety.org/ daily during MS Awareness Week for new tips and updates on what others are doing to help end MS

-- Emailing your members of Congress about the need for increased funding for M S research

-- Signing up for a Walk MS or Bike MS event

-- Raising awareness by going orange, the color signifying MS and the National MS Society -- there are hats, t-shirts, clings, clips and jewelry available for those who want to show they are a part of the MS Movement

-- Signing up to volunteer

-- Making your mark against MS or sharing your story at http://www.nationalmssociety.org/

-- Supporting the Society -- every donation brings us closer to a cure

"MS Awareness Week is the perfect time to join the movement to help end MS," said Joyce Nelson, President and CEO of the National MS Society. "It is also the ideal time to recognize the millions of individuals who are already a part of the movement and each day make a difference in the lives of people who have MS."


-- The first-ever MS film festival will debut on Second Life on Wednesday March 12 at noon (PT) during MS Awareness Week. The five first-person shorts can also be seen on the Society's Web site: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/filmfestival.


-- The Society will release an overview of the first Harris Interactive Poll ever to survey people with MS and their care partners about mobility issues. The initiative was done in collaboration with Acorda Therapeutics. An in-depth media briefing on the survey's findings will follow on April 8 in New York.

Advocacy Action Alert

-- A cross-organizational advocacy alert will be distributed on Tuesday, March 11, to encourage people to ask their federal representatives for increased MS research funding.

National MS Chapter Activities

From coast to coast, the Society's 50-state network of chapters are introducing their own special events to support MS Awareness Week and encourage people to "Join the MS Movement." They include billboards, banners and displays, "go orange" days, state capitol advocacy days, health fairs, on-the-road MS awareness tours, and alliances with local business and cultural institutions. To find out what is happening in your area, contact your local Society office at 1-800-344-4867 or visit http://www.nationalmssociety.org/ to find your chapter.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body and stops people from moving. Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with more than twice as many women as men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S. and 2.5 million worldwide.

About the National MS Society

MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn't. We help each person address the challenges of living with MS. In 2006 alone, through our home office and our 50 state network of chapters, we devoted nearly $126 million to programs that enhanced more than one million lives to move us closer to a world free of MS.
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