Among all the ways that we help people affected by MS, we shouldn’t let the disease stand in the way of an education. We’re hopeful that even modest scholarships will help families in covering some of the costs associated with college, and allow students to achieve their dreams, including those who dream of becoming healthcare professionals.
MS Scholarships are awarded each year to select students across the country who are pursuing a college or technical school education, and who have a parent with MS or who themselves have MS.
Applications are evaluated based on financial need, academic record, leadership and volunteer activities, a statement of educational and career goals, and letters of recommendation. Applicants are also asked to provide a personal statement describing the impact MS has had on their life.
MS Scholarships are funded through individual and corporate donations, and by fundraising events such as Walk MS, Bike MS, and the MS Challenge Walk.
In 2004, Chapter Trustee Arthur Collias donated $100,000 to help establish the MS Scholarship Fund nationally. Since that time, Chapters around the country have followed his lead and have greatly expanded the effort. Last year, Central New England funded 18 awards totaling $66,500. The drop in funding for 2009 is a direct result of the drop in donations received during this fiscal year.
To continue growth in scholarship awards, the Chapter is actively seeking individual and corporate donors who are interested in helping more students with college expenses by making a gift to the MS Scholarship Fund. With your help, we’ll support many more college bound students with even more grants in 2010.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Sheraton, Framingham, Mass.
11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
$10 per person
The Annual Meeting of Members is held to elect the Board of Trustees, and to consider the Annual Report of the Board and the Treasurer’s Report of the Chapter accounts. Submit Trustee nominations using the nomination form by October 1, 2009. The Nomination Committee, prior to the submission for election, will review nominations. Please provide the name, address, phone number, and brief background of the nominee, as well as your name, address and phone number. If you cannot attend but would like to vote by proxy, fill out the proxy form. To register to attend the Annual Meeting, register online fill out the form on the back page of Community PrograMS catalogue.
Ataxia & Tremor
Did you know that in the late 1800s, doctors measured ataxia by having patients walk on long strips of paper with ink on their feet?
MS in focus 13 includes this fact and much, much more on ataxia, otherwise known as incoordination and unsteadiness, and tremor caused by MS. This issue of the biannual magazine, which is produced by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation, contains a range of information both practical and historical on these two difficult symptoms of MS.
No medication has thus far been shown to be consistently effective for treating tremor and ataxia in people with MS. MS in focus 13 explores other options, such as rehabilitation and surgery, as well as drugs in the pipeline. It also will help you understand what causes ataxia and tremor in MS, and how they are evaluated and measured by health-care providers.
MS in focus 13 is available free of charge online at msif.org/en.
Check out the Society’s channel on YouTube and dig into hundreds of award-winning short films, informational shorts from experts in the MS field as well as quirky and serious videos by down home vloggers who have something to say about life with MS. Some of the best are tagged by the Society as favorites, like the music video “Beautiful Day,” produced by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation and the Hertie Foundation with permission by U2.
Also cool on the Tube: the MS Society’s Move it. videos. Check out what people around the country have done to accompany the hit from Madagascar. To date, the Society’s snagged over 115,000 video views. Up next: a Society call for YouTube submissions and subsequent nationalmssociety.org site release. Go to: youtube.com/nationalmssociety for inspiration.
This past May, “Amazing Race” host Phil Keoghan triumphantly crossed the finish line on his ride across America. Sponsored by GNC LiveWell, Keoghan crossed 14 states, made over 30 stops, and cycled over 3,500 miles from Los Angeles to New York City in just 40 days. In collaboration with GNC’s in-store fundraising campaign his feat raised an astonishing $500,000 for the MS movement in just six weeks.
But the excitement isn’t over! The NOW One Square Meal (the meal replacement bar that fueled Phil during his ride) is giving a portion of sales back to the Society on every bar sold now through September. You can help fuel the MS movement – and yourself!
For more information visit: nationalmssociety.org/philkeoghan.
The Chapter received the 2008 Excellence in Research Promotion award, judged on clarity of purpose, measurement of results, year-round planning and quality of programs, and breadth of reach. “The Chapter excelled in promoting MS research year-round to various groups among their constituents, both with creative, original programming, and extensive use of research information provided by the home office.” Efforts included media coverage for Estriol research; Promise 2010: Pediatric Open House; Major Donors, Fundraisers research call invitations and research update; Collaboration and Programming: Connecticut and Vermont teleconference; Clinical Trials Information: website and targeted emails.
On May 15 and 16, the Chapter hosted the Neurologist’s Guide to the Diagnosis & Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis conference. An initiative of the Chapter’s Clinical Advisory Committee, the purpose of the conference was to provide education and to encourage neurology residents to specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of MS. There were 55 attendees, with 13 presenters from MS clinical centers in New England and Canada.
The Chapter was recognized with the Excellence in Education for Healthcare and Wellness Professionals award for dedication to providing access to high quality care for people with MS. The Excellence in Programs awards recognize chapters who have achieved excellence in three categories: Quality of Life Principles, Long-term Care, and Professional Education & Outreach.
Attention homeowners! You may be eligible to restructure your mortgage loan
You may qualify for mortgage loan restructuring through President Obama's Making Home Affordable program. The program has two components: Home Affordable Refinance and Home Affordable Modification.
The Home Affordable Refinance program allows borrowers to refinance into a 30- or 15-year fixed rate loan even if they owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.
The Home Affordable Modification Program lowers homeowners' monthly mortgage payments to as low as 31 percent of their verifiable gross monthly income (i.e. 31% Debt-to-Income ratio).
To learn more and to determine if you are eligible, visit www.makinghomeaffordable.gov
New Hampshire Homeowner Hotline: 1-800-437-5991
www.homehelpnh.org key tips for preventing foreclosure.
Massachusetts Homeowner Hotline: 1-617-973-8787, 1-888-283-3757
www.mass.gov/foreclosure (includes a video to connect struggling Massachusetts homeowners with housing counselors).
Federal website: www.makinghomeaffordable.gov
People with MS should consult with their physician about obtaining a regular flu shot and an H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccination as soon as they are available. This web site will be updated when new information is forthcoming.
The FluMist nasal spray vaccine and any 'live', attenuated version of the H1N1 (if one is produced) are 'not' recommended for people with MS.
Regular flu shot:
As in previous years, the National MS Society recommends a regular flu shot as a safe and effective vaccination for people with MS. The flu shot—which is a de-activated or "killed" vaccine—can safely be taken by individuals who are on any of the disease-modifying medications (Avonex®, Betaseron®, Copaxone®, Rebif®, or Tysabri®).
In 2003, the FDA approved a flu vaccine nasal spray "for healthy children and adolescents, ages 5-17, and healthy adults, ages 18-49." According to Dr. Aaron Miller, the Society's Chief Medical Officer, FluMist—which is a live, weakened vaccine—is not recommended for use by people with MS, and should specifically be avoided by any person with MS who is on an immunosuppressive medication such as mitoxantrone (Novantrone®), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®), azathioprine (Imuran®), or methotrexate. We currently have no safety data for FluMist in MS. We do know, however, that live-virus vaccines are more likely than de-activated-virus vaccines to cause an increase in disease activity in people with MS, particularly those whose systems are immunosuppressed. Furthermore, the interactions between live vaccines and the disease-modifying medications are not known.
H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccine:
The H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccine is still in production, so its safety and efficacy have not yet been established. It is anticipated that the vaccine will be available in the fall of 2009, probably in October. When it becomes available, the recommendations for its use in people with MS will likely be the same as the recommendations for the regular flu vaccine. If a live, attenuated version of the H1N1 vaccine is also produced, it should be avoided by individuals with MS.
You can read information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about the regular flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine.