Nov 19, 2012
Highland, IL (November 13, 2012) – The Gateway Area Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society established a “Talk MS” support group in Highland, IL. This group is for people living with MS to connect with others with MS, share ideas, and receive support and encouragement. Group members also learn about other programs and services offered by their local chapter.
This Talk MS group meets regularly on the first and third Wednesday of every month. A few topics of discussion include coping with MS symptoms, how to talk about your MS to friends and families, and self-advocacy. These are only some of the topics that may be discussed. All Talk MS groups within the Gateway Area Chapter operate with the support of the National MS Society and the local chapter. The meetings are open to people living with MS, their family members, or any interested guests. Other Talk MS peer support groups meet monthly in the Alton/River Bend, Belleville/O’ Fallon, Olney, Swansea, and Litchfield areas.
The Highland, IL Talk MS group had its first meeting on November 7th with 15 people in attendance. Group leader Karen Ferguson is a trained peer volunteer who lives with MS. She said the first meeting served as a time to make new friends and discuss what they wanted to get out of their meetings. They all agreed that they wanted to meet people who understood what they were going through. “MS, like any other disease, is what you make of it and we are determined to not let it get us down,” said Ferguson. Group members shared their different symptoms of the disease, as well as coping mechanisms that work for them. This technique can be helpful for people in all stages of the disease.
Ferguson said she hopes more people learn about this group and welcomes them to attend in the future. She knows what it is like to feel as if she is the only one with MS. Talk MS is a group effort to physically and mentally fight multiple sclerosis. “I know a lot of people don’t like to go to support groups because they feel they are depressing. Not us! We are here to encourage and laugh with each other,” said Ferguson.
If anyone is interested in attending a Talk MS group meeting, RSVP to Karen Ferguson at the contact information listed below. For more information about MS or programs and services offered by the National MS Society in the Metro East Illinois area, please visit http://gatewayMSsociety.org or call the Metro East office at 618-628-9030.
WHAT: Talk MS Peer Support
WHEN: The 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
WHERE: Weinheimer Community Center
1100 Main Street
Highland, IL 62249
CONTACT: Karen Ferguson – Group Leader
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 400,000 people in the U.S. and over 2.1 million worldwide.
About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn’t. The Society addresses the challenges of each person affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, collaborating with MS organizations around the world, and providing programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward.
Last year alone, through our national office and 50-state network of chapters, we devoted over $161 million to programs that enhanced more than one million lives. To move us closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested more than $37 million to support 325 new and ongoing research projects around the world. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. Join the movement at nationalMSsociety.org.
Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by talking to your health care professional and contacting the National MS Society at nationalMSsociety.org or 1-800-344-4867. You may also contact your local Gateway Area Chapter at www.gatewayMSsociety.org or 314-781-9020.