March is dedicated to bringing awareness to Multiple Sclerosis (MS), the autoimmune disease that damages the protective lining of nerves. MS can affect any part of the body by reducing the communication between nerve pathways and the brain.
Is There a Cure?
The short answer is no, there is not a cure … yet.
While MS is estimated to affect over 2.5 million people worldwide, there is no treatment. From difficulty with balance and coordination to acute pain, people with MS can only try to manage their symptoms.
By spreading awareness about this disease and advocating for more research funding, we can help move us closer to a cure. MS Month helps us do this.
10 Ways to Honor MS Month
There are many ways you can get involved with MS month. From reaching out to a friend with MS to joining a walk to raise money. Read on for ways you can make a difference.
1. Reach Out to Someone You Know With MS
Depression can often coincide with MS — the fatigue, debilitating pain and immobility can cause some to retreat from everyday life. Feeling isolated can make depression worse.
If you have a loved one, friend, neighbor or co-worker with MS, reach out to let them know you’re thinking of them. Give them the space to talk about what they are going through. While you can’t fix it, you can give them support.
Ask how they are feeling. Schedule a time to drop off dinner. Most importantly, let them know you care.
2. Sign up for an MS Walk to Raise Money
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society holds walks across the country that raise awareness and money for research into a cure. Team up with loved ones, friends and co-workers and register for a walk near you.
3. Advocate for the Rights of People With Disabilities, Better Care, Increased Funding for Research and More
At MyCIL we strongly believe in the power of disability advocacy. We advocate for people with disabilities to ensure we all can live our best lives.
Contact your legislators and let them know you’re passionate about improving the lives of people with MS. It may not take much time, but it can have a great impact.
Learn about the advocacy issues affecting the treatment and prognosis of MS. Then, reach out to your legislators urging them to make informed policy decisions that improve the lives of people with MS.
4. Spread Awareness Through Social Media
To drive change we need to spread awareness about this disease. Share your story and make your voice heard by reaching out to your social media followers.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society offers great resources for building your social media connections and starting conversations online. The first step is identifying and following public officials and other MS advocates.
They also recommend using the hashtag #MSactivist with any social media posting you make about MS. In addition, they suggest you use a hashtag to show your state (such as #PA, #VA, #IL).
Another way to spread awareness through social media is by recognizing loved ones, friends, healthcare providers and anyone else who has helped you or someone you know who has MS. Using the hashtag #MySupportHero, share a photo and story of how this person made a difference.
Finally, you can update your Facebook profile picture with a custom MS awareness frame.
5. Attend a State Action Day
Around the country MS activists gather together on State Action Days. They bring awareness to the disease while urging their state legislators to make the right policy decisions for people with MS.
When you attend a State Action Day, you’ll hear from the National MS Society about their advocacy priorities. You’ll also get a chance to advocate with your state’s Senators, Representatives and other legislators on behalf of all people with MS.
6. Register for a Muckfest, a Fun Mud Run
Muckfests are 5k obstacle-course runs held throughout the country that raise money for the National MS Society. They’re basically like recess time for adults!
Find the one closest to you and register today for this fun event.
7. Join a Bike MS Ride in Your Area
Across the United States there are Bike MS rides that raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. It’s the largest fundraising bike series on the globe with almost 75,000 cyclists coming together to raise funds and change the world. Find a Bike MS ride in your area and register!
8. Spread Awareness in Your Community
The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is looking for street squad volunteers to post informational flyers on storefront windows and bulletin boards. Become a street squad volunteer in your area and raise awareness in your community.
9. Swim for MS
Swim for MS is a do-it-yourself fundraising activity. You create your own swim activity and set a goal. Then, you recruit friends and family to donate. You can do it at any time and in any pool. Learn more about joining Swim for MS.
10. Order a Free Awareness Kit From the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
The free awareness kits from the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation include interesting and helpful information for people with MS, family members, healthcare specialists, the media and your community.