New Haven Woman Honors Mother’s Memory; Continues Quest To Engage Others In Fight Against MS - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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The Connecticut Chapter strives to provide knowledge and assistance to help people with MS and their families maintain the highest possible quality of life. These goals are achieved through vital national and local programs.

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New Haven Woman Honors Mother’s Memory; Continues Quest To Engage Others In Fight Against MS

November 6, 2013

Kyle McClintock, New Haven, and David Ciarcia, of Southington, pose with Maureen Jessen, of Simsbury, just before the start of the 2011 NBC Connecticut Women Against MS Luncheon. Kyle is the daughter of Mary McClintock, who is credited with organizing the first-ever WAMS luncheon. Jessen, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001, has served as chair of the WAMS steering committee since 2003, after being recruited by Mary for the position.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Throughout her life Mary McClintock was dedicated to charitable work. In fact, she joined the staff of the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, where in 2001 she organized Connecticut’s first-ever Women Against MS Luncheon (WAMS).

In 2011, at just 57, Mary, who lived inMarlborough, lost a courageous battle with cancer. Since then, her daughter, Kyle, 32, has looked for ways to continue her mother’s work. After the loss of her mother, Kyle teamed up with the society as a volunteer, raising funds through the annual luncheon to support people in Connecticut battling multiple sclerosis.

“That first luncheon was a small affair,” said Kyle, who today serves as a WAMS table captain, recruiting friends, family and colleagues to the luncheon. “As director of development, my mother was committed to growing the event and raising as much as possible to support people in our state battling MS. I keep her memory alive through my involvement supporting the beloved event she launched.”

To help raise funds, Kyle hoping to host at least two tables at the luncheon. Sharing her mother’s story and commitment to the cause, Kyle recruits as many of her contacts, including the men she knows, as possible.

“My mother loved this event and I do as well,” said Kyle, a native of Hebron who now lives in New Haven. “Mom was passionate about raising funds and felt a deep connection to the event’s chair, Maureen Jessen, who has battled MS for many years now. Mom was a super motivated woman. She led by example. She was an incredible role model for my sister, Colleen, and me.”

The 2013 NBC Connecticut Women Against MS Luncheon, this year presented by Comcast, will feature keynote speaker Larissa Nusser, who herself was diagnosed with MS in 2000. Multiple sclerosis is no laughing matter, but Nusser has found a way to laugh in its face. Nusser, a graduate of the Integral Yoga Institute of Manhattan, is an exciting, interactive motivational speaker who is a certified yoga instructor.

A resident of Staten Island, N.Y., she teaches laughter yoga, a revolutionary idea that is sweeping the country and beyond. Laughing yoga combines unconditional laughing with yogic breathing. Essentially, anyone can laugh for no reason and with proper techniques and breathing, unconditional laughing becomes contagious.

Back by popular demand, the 2013 luncheon will also feature a shopping extravaganza before and after the lunch program. Guests are encouraged to invite co-workers, friends and family to the luncheon. The NBC Connecticut Women Against MS Luncheon will take place Friday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Shopping begins at 10 a.m., with the lunch program starting at noon. Shopping will resume after the lunch program. Returning for a fifth year, the luncheon will be hosted by Lisa Carberg, evening news anchor for NBC Connecticut.

“Mary McClintock was dedicated to the important work of the National MS Society,” said Lisa Gerrol, president of the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter. “Her goal was to engage others in the fight against MS. Like her mother, Kyle also engages others in the quest to find a cure. It’s this type of commitment that moves the cause forward, propelling us toward better treatments and a cure.”

The first luncheon, held 12 years ago, hosted about 50 guests. Today’s luncheons average 300 to 400 guests and over the years have raised almost $1 million. This year’s luncheon is expected to add $60,000 to that total. Funds raised help ensure ongoing scientific research for better treatments and a cure. Funds raised also provide for the continuation of vital programs and services offered by the chapter to the more than 6,000 Connecticut residents living with MS.

“My mother taught my sister and I to be grateful for what have and for those things we achieve,” remembered Kyle. “With that concept in mind, she also taught us how important it is, in turn, to give back. Opportunities, she said, are priceless. My mother loved working for the National MS Society. She would be very proud at all that is being accomplished through the work she first began.”

The 2013 NBC Connecticut Women Against MS Luncheon, hosted by Lisa Carberg, evening news anchor with NBC Connecticut, takes place Friday, Dec. 6, at the Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Blvd., in Hartford. For more information on the NBC Connecticut Women Against MS Luncheon, presented by Comcast, or to reserve a seat, please call 860-913-2550.

11/6/13

About the Connecticut Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The Connecticut Chapter strives to provide knowledge and assistance to help people with MS and their families maintain the highest possible quality of life. These goals are achieved through vital national and local programs.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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