Lifetime Achievement - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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Lifetime Achievement


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2014 Lifetime Achievement Honorees

Peter Tarricone

Peter began his engagement as a volunteer fundraiser in 1970 and has been actively involved in many areas of the Society’s work. Peter was instrumental in the formation of Fast Forward, and currently chairs both the Fast Forward Board of Managers and the Fast Forward Oversight Committee.

Ruth Cowan

Thirty-nine years ago, licensed physical therapist, Ruth Cowan, recognized the need for aquatic therapy for people living with MS, so she co-founded the Swim-In program in New Jersey. Ruth has since volunteered more than 3,000 hours.

Tom Holtackers

Thomas Holtackers, physical therapist, first volunteered with the Society in 1979 — one year before he was diagnosed with MS. After processing this news, Tom embarked on a lifelong mission devoted to an MS-free world.

2013 Lifetime Achievement Honorees

Richard Hausman

Richard’s involvement with the National MS Society began over 40 years ago, when he was diagnosed with MS. Since then, his personal journey with MS and his larger than life personality have inspired his family and friends to get involved with the Society, including his son Rick who is currently a board member at the Pacific South Coast Chapter.

Dr. Victor M. Rivera

Dr. Rivera has dedicated his career to the care of people with MS. His involvement with the National MS Society has been continuous and impactful since the chapter was founded in Houston in 1972.

Yolanda Treiguts

Yolanda’s lifelong volunteer career started in 1978, shortly after she was diagnosed with MS. Since then she has dedicated time and effort to facilitating the South Cook MS self-help group. She is also a leading fundraiser.

2012 Lifetime Achievement Honorees

Dr. Gary Birnbaum

Dr. Birnbaum’s commitment extends far beyond his extraordinary work as a clinician and researcher. He has spent years educating the future generation of MS clinicians and researchers as both a fulltime and adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota. When he speaks to students, he almost always brings a person with MS to offer a first-hand account of life with the disease.

Dr. John Fleming

Dr. Fleming's interest focused on MS since the ‘70s as a MS research fellow. Dr. Fleming has received many research awards. Currently, he's exploring how microscopic worm eggs change the immune response in people with MS based on the hygiene hypothesis. His study has been featured in the New York Times and on ABC News.

Mary Reed Spencer

Mary joined the Board of the Eastern Kansas Chapter and organized the first READaTHON in 1978 — an effort for which she received the Bronze Hope Chest Award. She was also instrumental in realigning our chapters in 1990. Mary remains highly involved in all Society events, including Bike MS, Walk MS and many third party events.

2011 Lifetime Achievement Honoree

George H. Kraft, MD, MS

Dr. Kraft attended Harvard and received his MD and MS from Ohio State University. At the University of Washington, he is the director of the Western MS Center, the principal investigator of the MS Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, Alvord professor of MS Research, professor of Rehabilitation Medicine, and adjunct professor of Neurology.

2010 Lifetime Achievement Honoree

Dr. Henry McFarland

Dr. McFarland is a neurologist, researcher, chief of the National Institutes of Health’s Neuroimmunology Branch, and leader in the MS movement. Over the past 35 years he has dedicated his career to MS research and volunteer work. 

Marjorie Schulz

Marjorie is founder of the Ohio Valley Chapter, and she's dedicated over 62 years to the MS Movement. Founder, fundraiser, board member and lifetime volunteer of the Society, Marjorie created a resource in the Cincinnati community for people living with MS before the disease was acknowledged or understood.

2009 Lifetime Achievement Honorees

Marianne Green

For 35 years Marianne has dedicated every Monday to helping out at the Minnesota Chapter office. Marianne lives with MS and has always believed it’s important to do whatever she can to support the Society’s work to end the disease.

Dorothy Cooper

Dorothy is a woman of many accomplishments. While she has been a resident of Westchester County for more than 50 years, she spent many of those commuting to her art studio in Manhattan. Her sculptures can be found in many private collections today.

  • 2008 – Bette Schmalhausen
  • 2008 – Edith  Furst 
  • 2008 – Fran Itkoff 
  • 2008 – Susan Wilkey
  • 2007 – Ann Freeman 
  • 2007 – Tom Freeman 
  • 2007 – Edith Martin Grady 
  • 2007 – Reggie Walton