Find Out During MS Awareness Week March 14 - 20, 2011

New Jersey— Multiple sclerosis is a life altering disease that affects each person in a unique and different way.  Therefore, to demonstrate the power and importance of the MS movement as a force by and for people living with MS, the New Jersey Metro Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and those living with MS here in New Jersey are joining people from across the nation during Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week, March 14 – 20, to share, educate and build awareness about what multiple sclerosis means to them.

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system which interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from reduced or lost mobility to numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis.  The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted.  Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men having the disease.  MS affects more than     13,000 New Jersey residents, 400,000 people in the U.S., and over 2 million worldwide.

Advances in research are moving us closer to stopping the disease, restoring function and ending MS forever.  Moreover, MS has moved from an untreatable disease in 1993 to a treatable one today for the vast majority of people now diagnosed, thanks to the growing public support spurring exciting research and treatment breakthroughs that improve people’s quality of life.  This is a very encouraging time if you have MS or know someone who lives with the disease because the first oral therapies that treat MS and manage MS symptoms are now available for those with relapsing forms of the disease. This is also a watershed year with more than a dozen therapies moving through the pipeline that hold promise of new and improved treatments for MS. Therefore advancing MS research and enhancing program services are ever more important.

This MS Awareness Week and beyond, “join the MS movement” to end multiple sclerosis.  Find out how you can be a part of the movement to create a world free of MS and learn what MS means to the hundreds of thousands of people living with the daily challenges of the disease. Visit www.nationalMSsociety.org

  • Join the NJ Metro Chapter for our Annual Lobby Day in Trent on March 14
  • Share what MS equals to you at www.nationalMSsociety.org/msequals or on facebook.com/nationalmssociety.  If you tweet, you can share what MS means to you with “MS= <insert your own message> to me” using the #MSEquals hashtag. On Flickr, you can upload a photo about what MS = by using MSEquals
  • Download web banners and widgets for your social network pages
  • Raise awareness by wearing orange throughout the week
  • Register for a Bike MS or Walk MS [insert local event name here]
  • Email a legislator about an issue important to people with MS
  • Support the Society – every donation moves us closer to a world free of MS

The Society is also collecting and displaying on its homepage “MS =” responses contributed to its MSequals site and Facebook pages.    Just a few of the thoughts shared by people you might know are:

-        “MS= remembering the quiet daily struggles of dear friends”  says actor Bill Pullman

-       “MS = no opportunity wasted,” shares The Amazing Race host, Phil Keoghan

-       “MS=reminding myself that I never really wanted to be a tight rope walker anyway,” retorts  comedian Jonathan Katz

Progress on MS can’t wait. Be a part of moving us closer to a world free of multiple sclerosis and in shaping the face of what MS means to you and those you love.