Today, we are putting our collective foot down and declaring this instant the time to take action. Individual efforts are made exponentially stronger through support and collaboration—through an MS Research Revolution, called MS NOW. Visit nationalMSsociety.org/research and become an MS Research Champion today.
The goals of MS NOW are: 1) raise $250 million for MS research by the end of 2015; 2) confirm our commitment to research, inspiring everyone to action; 3) improve quality of life for people with Progressive MS; 4) retain and attract the best minds to MS research; and 4) Find breakthroughs in treatment, rehabilitation, prevention, and cure.
MS NOW signifies a sense of URGENCY. We have the momentum. There are more neurologists and scientists engaged in MS research than ever before. There is more collaboration among these researchers, and new genetic insights. There are new strategies for converting discoveries into meaningful actions. And, there are more potential therapies in the pipeline than ever before. The excitement and optimism is energizing.
NOW is an acronym for: No Opportunity Wasted. No Opportunity Wasted is also the tagline for the energetic program of action developed by Phil Keoghan, host of ABC televisions The Amazing Race, who is the MS NOW campaign spokesperson. Phil is deeply committed to the MS cause.
MS NOW will foster an MS Research Revolution and will dramatically increase funding for MS research. The effort will almost double the Society’s annual research funding from $31.5 million (2010) to $61.1 million in 2015. Over the last five years (2006-2010), we funded $185.3 million in research projects. In the next five years (2011-2015), we’ll fund $250 million, which is a 35 percent increase.
MS NOW is a comprehensive research campaign. The focus is on all promising research, rather than limited to specific target areas. The MS NOW research goal is to STOP all disease progression for people who are already living with MS. RESTORE all function that has already been lost to nervous system damage caused by MS. And, we must work to END MS, to completely eradicate the disease and prevent it from ever occurring in the future.
As urgent is the need for MS research, it’s also critically important that we continue our emphasis on helping people who are living with MS. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society also helps people cope with the burdens that multiple sclerosis places on them and their families, economically, emotionally, and physically. To do that, the Greater New England Chapter has made a significant effort to increase the education, support, advocacy, and services currently available to people with MS; and to ensure that those programs are offered in equal measure across all four states in the Chapter, and across urban and rural areas.
To that end, there are more resources available to people in Maine and Vermont on a variety of levels. Such as Home LINKS, whose care managers make a dramatic difference in addressing the needs of people with MS. Also financial assistance for home modifications, and other basic needs for which there are no public or private resources, have been raised in Maine and Vermont to the same $2,000 level that people with MS in Massachusetts and New Hampshire have been eligible for.
There are many other areas of programming that have resulted from the union of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The challenging thing is to find the financial resources to pay for them all, particularly in these difficult economic times. While many of our fundraising events have seen an increase in participants, the average amount of fundraising per walker, rider, and others have dropped.
Even for those who are not in a position to give financially, you can reach out to others in your family and in your circle of friends and coworkers to encourage them to participate and to help raise the money necessary to fund the programs and services so necessary to people who have MS. Look over the calendar on the back page of this newsletter, and invite a friend or family member to an upcoming MS fundraising event. The experience is rewarding personally for those who participate, and the contributions keep all of us moving forward and ever closer to a world free of multiple sclerosis.
$100 donated to National MS Society by Biogen Idec for every completed pass by the New England Patriots
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater New England Chapter announces the PASSES FOR MS campaign underwritten by Biogen Idec, and featured on the New England Patriots Radio Network and flagship station 98.5 The Sports Hub (CBS Radio). Throughout the 2011-2012 regular season, whenever the Patriots complete a pass, Gil Santos, the voice of the New England Patriots, will announce a $100 contribution by Biogen Idec to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In addition to the in-game announcements, a recorded spot is played during each regular-season broadcast informing the audience about the Passes for MS campaign. Biogen Idec is an independent biotech company based in Weston, Mass., that manufactures two US FDA approved medications for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, TYSABRI® and AVONEX®. Santos’ wife, Roberta, has been living with multiple sclerosis for more than 15 years, and the couple was honored by the National MS Society in 2009 with the MS Inspiration Award.
Conference & Expo with Stanley F. Waterman Research Update
Saturday, October 29, 2011
8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Four States, Four Locations.
Join us for a resource expo, educational workshops, and to learn more about current chapter activities and accomplishments, as well as MS research. Each location will feature a keynote presentation with an MS researcher.
- Clarion Hotel, Portland, Maine
- Best Western Royal Plaza, Marlborough, Massachusetts
- Church Landing, Meredith, New Hampshire
- Hilton Burlington Hotel, Burlington, Vermont
To attend, click on a location above to register online, or call 800-344-4867. If you cannot attend but would like to vote by proxy, fill out the proxy form.