Every March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness month, a time for sufferers, family members, and supporters to share information, sympathy, and camaraderie, drawing attention to this disease of the central nervous system. If you’re not familiar, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) happens when one’s immune system attacks the nerve cells and renders them unable to properly transmit information, causing balance issues, weakened vision, fatigue, and other unpredictable symptoms. Approximately 2.5 million people worldwide suffer from multiple sclerosis. The cause is unknown, and there is no definitive cure as of this writing. However, there are many effective treatments, so those afflicted with MS should not lose hope. This month is all about raising awareness, educating wider society, fundraising, and getting behind those scientists that seek to advance our understanding of MS.
History of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which started in 1946 as the Association for Advancement of Research on Multiple Sclerosis, has raised $974 million for research since then, according to their own literature. Some of their fundraising efforts include “Walk MS,” “MuckFest,” and “DIY Fundraising,” where you can come up with your own creative way to work for the cause of researching and curing MS.
Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month was launched by the NMSS in March of 2003 in an effort to coordinate the fundraising and awareness-raising activities of disparate other MS-related groups and individuals with their own. Part of the mission of the month is to help people understand the true scope of MS and to help those with the disease make informed decisions about their treatment and overall health.
Since then, especially with “Walk MS,” fundraising events have gained an increasing amount of publicity, resulting in an ever-larger public demand for advancement toward a cure.