Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision.
The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. Today, new treatments and advances in research are giving new hope to people affected by the disease.
MS Awareness Week, March 11-17, 2013, is a galvanizing time when people come together and use their connections to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis, while encouraging others to join the movement toward a world free of MS. All week there are opportunities to get engaged through educational, wellness and social programs, along with fun public awareness events.
- Wear your orange wristband or an MS Society shirt and use it as a conversation starter.
- Set up an awareness hour in your work/school cafeteria, lobby, etc. Hang posters advertising when and where. Have materials about MS and give them examples of how they can get involved.
- Contact your local college or university to set up a display to recruit volunteers and participants for Walk MS or Bike MS events.
- Grab a friend and ask local businesses, retail stores, schools, hospitals, restaurants, etc., if they’d be willing to hang an MS Awareness Week poster or distribute Walk MS or Bike MS information.
- Work on getting an MS Awareness Week proclamation in your city.
- Share your story with five people and ask them to join you in the MS movement.
- Create a “symptom simulation” exhibit where people can experience what MS symptoms feel like (example: wearing gloves for numbness, blurry goggles, ankle weights for fatigue, etc…)
- Speak to a group of people about MS and share your story about how and why you are involved.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Many volunteers have successfully had their letters printed.
- Include information about MS Awareness Week in your newsletters at work, school, church or other community organizations you’re involved with.
- Bring a special orange treat to work or school and use it as an opportunity to talk about MS Awareness Week.
- Ask a local bakery to make orange-frosted cupcakes or cookies for MS Awareness Week.
- Visit MSconnection.org to check out the new national awareness campaign and find downloads you can use to raise awareness.
- Connect with MS on Facebook or Twitter and invite your friends to connect with them! Find them at facebook.com/nmssmi or twitter.com/nmssmi
- Hold a fundraiser in your community.
Contract your local MS Society Chapter to learn more about how YOU can raise awareness in your community.
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