From the President
In 2011, the National MS Society launched MS NOW, a research revolution championed by Phil Keoghan, host of CBS television’s The Amazing Race. “NOW” is an acronym for “No Opportunity Wasted,” which is Keoghan’s life mantra and tagline for his energetic program of action. Keoghan is deeply committed to the MS movement. In March of 2009, his cross-country “Ride Across America” became the launching point for a $1 million fundraising effort and a feature documentary movie, entitled “The Ride,” that continues to create awareness of MS.
MS NOW has five goals: 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 5) find breakthroughs in treatment, rehabilitation, prevention, and cure.
MS NOW is comprehensive, focusing on all promising research with a goal 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 to END MS, to completely eradicate the disease and prevent it from ever occurring in the future.
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.
MS NOW will almost double the Society’s annual research funding from $31.5 million (2010) to $61.1 million in 2015. From 2006 to 2010, we funded $185.3 million in research projects. From 2011 to 2015, we’ll fund $250 million, a 35 percent increase.
MS NOW has strong leadership in the form of the MS NOW Cabinet, which reaches out to build support across the country. Locally, the Greater New England Chapter is represented by Robin McGraw, who is a Chapter Trustee and was recently inducted into the Society’s Circle of Distinction in recognition of a $1 million gift to MS NOW from the Donald C. McGraw Foundation. Additionally, each member of our Chapter Board has committed to support MS NOW.
As urgent as the need for MS research is, it’s also critically important that we maintain our emphasis on helping people affected by MS. The Greater New England Chapter manages a significant effort to education, support, advocacy, and services for people with MS across all four states in the Chapter, and across urban and rural areas.
MS NOW is the entire MS community putting our collective foot down and declaring this as the time to take action. Individual efforts become exponentially stronger through support and collaboration—through an MS Research Revolution, called MS NOW. Visit www.nationalMSsociety.org/research and become an MS Research Champion today.
President & CEO
McGraw Family takes leadership role in MS NOW
When Josh McGraw of North Florida learned that his daughter was diagnosed with MS, he reached out to his brother, Robin, who lives in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Robin has been involved with Bike MS rides and is a Trustee of the Greater New England Chapter. His motivation to join the movement came out of his career as a paramedic and his love of cycling, but more importantly out of his compassion for a dear friend who has MS. Discovering that a family member had MS, however, was a game changer.
The brothers knew they had to take a significant leadership role with their own resources, and at the same time they wanted to motivate more people to join the MS movement. That opportunity presented itself with MS NOW, the Society’s research campaign to stop progression, restore function, and end MS for future generations by raising $250 million to fund every viable option in MS research and treatment.
With a deep resolve to lead by example, the brothers decided to use their family foundation, the Donald C. McGraw Foundation, to donate $1 million to the MS NOW campaign. In addition, Robin accepted a role on the MS NOW Cabinet, and has been traveling across the country speaking to prospective donors to raise support for the campaign.
In recognition of the family gift, Robin was recently inducted into the National MS Society’s Circle of Distinction, which recognizes donors of $1 million or more. He joins Richard Slifka and Barbara Palmer, who are also members of the Circle of Distinction representing the Greater New England Chapter. The 40 members of the Circle, through their incredible generosity, are advancing the mission in programs and services in addition to research. Members of the Circle of Distinction receive a special sculpture, called “The Path to a Cure,” that conveys an image of the movement toward a world free of MS and symbolizes the inspirational spirit of families affected by MS, who continue to move their lives forward.
Josh, his wife Sacha, Robin, and their youngest brother David have invested their time to learn about MS research. Sacha and Robin visited a New York University lab conducting myelin repair research during the Research Programs Advisory Committee (RPAC) 2011 meeting.
United, the brothers know nothing can stop them from achieving their goal of a world free of MS.
Annual Meeting of Members & Conference
Saturday, October 20, 2012
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Four States — Four Locations
Join us for this conference that includes education seminars, the annual meeting of members, a research update, and a health, wellness, and resource EXPO.
- Maine – Civic Center, Augusta
- Massachusetts – DCU Center, Worcester
- New Hampshire – Executive Court, Manchester
- Vermont – The Essex, Essex
To attend, click on one of the locations above to register online, or call 800-344-4867.
If you are unable to attend and wish to vote, fill out and mail the Proxy Form.