Congratulations to the 26 MS Scholarship winners from Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont for 2010. Their awards totaled $55,375. Across the country, 470 MS Scholarships were awarded, totaling nearly $1 million.
In July, a special recognition dinner was held in honor of MS Scholarship recipients from the last three years (photos). Among the student speakers was Jeffrey Breault, of Laconia, N.H., who was selected along with Colleen Flanagan from Boxborough, Mass., as 2010 national “Top Scholars.” Also taking a turn at the podium was Cristina Fernandes, a 2008 MS Scholarship recipient, who is studying psychology at University of Massachusetts in Lowell.
MS Scholarships are among the most rewarding ways in which the National Multiple Sclerosis Society helps families who are affected by MS.
However, the challenge faced by the Chapter is that we always receive far more worthy applications than we can fund. Money for MS Scholarships primarily comes from the Chapter, through individual and corporate donations, and from fundraising events like Walk MS, Bike MS, MS Challenge Walk, and MS Harborfest, and all our other events.
MS can be a great burden to a family, emotionally and financially. The economic impact is substantial. Direct and indirect costs, including lost wages (even for those who have insurance), are estimated at more than $69,000 annually, with a total lifetime cost per family of $3 million. These challenges often make funding a college education very difficult.
To sustain and grow the MS Scholarship campaign, 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 2011. Over the past eight years, the Chapter has awarded 122 scholarships totaling $251,500.
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. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $3,000.
Applications for 2011 MS Scholarship are available on www.nationalMSsociety.org/scholarship as of the 1st of October 2010. Applications are accepted between October 1, 2010 and January 14, 2011. For more information about National MS Society Scholarships, call 1-800-344-4867.
Jeffrey Breault (left) and family at the
National MS Society, Greater New England
Chapter Scholarship Recipient Reception
On April 14, at a Web forum jointly sponsored by the Society and the American Academy of Neurology, four experts discussed recent findings that suggest chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI, a blockage in blood drainage from the brain and spinal cord, may contribute to nervous system damage in MS.
Dr. Robert Zivadinov of the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, stressed the need for further clinical studies to confirm that CCSVI is associated with MS and to understand how it might be involved.
Dr. Paolo Zamboni of the University of Ferrara in Italy, who initiated the CCSVI hypothesis with a small study in 2009, also recommended controlled studies to determine the role of CCSVI in MS, and whether it can be safely and effectively treated with an endovascular surgical procedure.
Other participants included Dr. Andrew Common, radiologist in chief at St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto, and Dr. Aaron Miller, medical director of the MS Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center and chief medical officer for the Society.
The Society is funding expanded research on CCSVI in MS. Visit nationalMSsociety.org/ccsvi to learn about new CCSVI research projects.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law in July 1990, promised to change the landscape for citizens with disabilities. “But the ADA’s promise will be reached only if we remain committed to full implementation,” said David Chatel, the Society’s executive vice president of Advocacy.
“We can best celebrate our progress by reaffirming our principles of equality and inclusion,” said Joyce Nelson, the Society’s president and CEO.
Learn more! Visit nationalMSsociety.org/ADA.
In a special webcast, MS experts discuss the latest in MS research and treatment at nationalMSsociety.org/june30webcast.
The Society’s Dr. Patricia O’Looney leads a discussion with leading researchers on new oral treatments, infrequent-dose therapies, and current research in nervous system repair and protection and chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI)
MSWorld, the Society’s online partner, invites you to share your stories, poems and artwork, and to meet your peers through message boards and chat rooms. Membership in this global online community is free and confidential. Join today at msworld.org.