MS Awareness Week: How Will You Participate?

  • I often joke that when I die the inscription on my headstone should read, “Sorry I’m late!”


    It seems I always am apologizing for my tardiness. As Dan will attest, I’m pokey. I futz. I putter. But mostly I underestimate how long it will take me to get myself ready to walk out the door… um, so to speak.


    Last year my caregiver Travis tried to instill in me the lesson that he believes in: “To be early is to be on time, and to be on time is to be late.”


    I felt I came by tardiness honestly enough. It seemed to me to be part of my DNA passed down from my father, Victor. But in the last few years, my father has become consistently prompt—always on time.

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    As this New Year begins, I am proudly thinking of him and reflecting on Travis’ lesson. I have resolved to be more punctual. As such, I realize that I need to be more organized and better prepared. I need to give myself plenty of time, and I need to start living that way right now.


    It is never too early to start planning my social calendar: picking out where Dan and I will celebrate Valentine’s Day; receiving with my graduate degree from Central Michigan University in May; planning for fireworks on July 4th.


    As much as my social activities are important, multiple sclerosis always gets a big share of my time. However, in the 15 years since my diagnosis, I’d like to believe I can manage how MS fits into my daily life. What I plan for is a healthy year where I call most of the shots (no disease-modifying medicine pun intended!).


    Sure, there will be occasional curve balls MS throws at me, but I’ll handle them and continue my involvement with activities such as co-leading the area self-help group with Dan and registering for this spring’s Walk MS.


    Another MS-related activity that I know I can plan on is National MS Awareness Week. This year, it runs from March 11 to 17. And it’s never too early to start planning events and activities to increase awareness about the disease.


    Already MS activists have launched a grassroots effort online urging Starbucks to use orange lids (the color of MS) to support this annual effort.


    “I believe Starbucks can do something so simple to bring an extraordinary amount of awareness to the disease of multiple sclerosis,” the user aworldfreeofms posted on the My Starbucks Idea website. “By placing ‘orange’ lids on all hot beverage cups during MS Awareness Week … Starbucks can join the movement to one day live in a world free of MS.”


    You can learn more about this effort and offer your support by visiting You also can use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to urge your friends to do the same.


    So, according to my caregiver Travis, if you’re on time you’re late, we all better start planning now. Right? What are your ideas for MS Awareness Week? What events have worked for you in the past? Why do you think it’s important? How would you measure its success?

Published On: January 08, 2013