MS Awareness Week: What Does MS Equal To You?

  • Last week, the bipartisan resolution to recognize Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Week was passed in Congress.  It was introduced by U.S. Sensators Key R. Hagan (D-NC), Bob Casey (D-PA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME).  As a result MS Awareness Week is recognized during the week of March 14-20, 2011.


    The following statements were released by Senators Hagan and Casey (as reported on The State Column):

    • “Multiple Sclerosis is a devastating disease that affects 10,000 people and their families in North Carolina, as well as hundreds of thousands across the country,” Hagan said. “By raising awareness of the disease, and the research programs, treatments and services available for Americans living with MS, it is my hope that a potentially life-saving cure and life-altering treatments will be found to help those who are suffering.”
    • “I applaud the passage of this resolution which recognizes and reaffirms our commitment to combating Multiple Sclerosis,” said Senator Casey. “I hope that we can raise awareness about the devastating impact of this disease and the work being done by researchers across the Nation to improve our understanding of the disease, develop new treatments and hopefully, one day, a cure.”

    The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is encouraging people across the country to come together to share what MS means to them, to help educate and build awareness of what MS is to each of us.

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    Some of the examples given include:


    MS = dreams lost. dreams rebuilt (Susan, a mom dx with in 1995)
    MS = skating on thin ice (Eric, a hockey coach dx in 2004)
    MS = fighting for my future (Imani, college student dx in 2006)


    I blogged about what MS equals to me last week in What does MS Equal To You?


    Some of my examples include:


    MS = a twisted roller coaster, spiraling and without brakes
    MS = a journey to destinations known and unknown
    MS = a community of travelers who support each other
    MS = the reason I am here, right now, reaching out to myself



    To me MS is like a roller coaster.  Sometimes you know that something big is coming like that fast drop after the build up of traveling up to great heights.  Sometimes I can feel that an MS relapse is coming on.  Or really, by the time I acknowledge a relapse, I’m already being thrown around in the loopty-loops.


    The journey with MS is also full of unknowns of what the future will bring.  I can see what has happened to other MS patients and sometimes that scares me.  I know that at some point in the future, I will not be able to get around easily on my own two feet.  I can feel that now.  My home is not accessible and I would have to relocate should the need arise.  However, it is terribly expensive in the Washington, DC area and I don’t know how in the world I could manage that.  This brings on additional anxiety about what the disease MS might do to me in the future, physically and financially.


    However, and as strange as it might sound, without MS I would not be acquainted with the many wonderful people I have met in person and online during the past five years.  The MS community is vast but extraordinarily supportive of one another.  We are fortunate in that regard.


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    So let me ask, what does MS equal to you?  Please explain in the comments section below.  Let’s raise some awareness and support each other at the same time.


    Also if you are on Twitter, you can join the conversation by sharing what MS equals to you in a tweet.  Just include the hashtag #MSequals in your tweet.  Include @LisaEmrich too if you would, so that I will see your responses.  And @healthcentral too if you have space.




    Lisa Emrich is author of the blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS and RA and founder of the Carnival of MS Bloggers.

Published On: March 13, 2011