I am reaching out to garner the support of those who know all too well the challenge of living with multiple sclerosis. We know that MS breaks connections between the brain and the body. Medical researchers are working to find the mechanism to repair those connections. We also know that MS is often the conduit to making new connections. The more connections we make, the stronger our movement becomes; and one day we will achieve a world free of MS. Every connection counts!
If you’re a person who has MS, you have a special opportunity to form connections that can achieve lasting results for others with MS, for their family members, and for the community overall. There’s always something you can do, and very often you benefit from the help you give to others.
Perhaps you use a scooter or wheelchair to get around because of MS. Even using a cane gives you a particular appreciation for how difficult it can be to get in and out of buildings and stores and restaurants. If you’ve ever thought, “Someone ought to do something about it!” that someone is you. That’s an easy connection to make when you know how, and our chapter is offering training on assessing the accessibility of public spaces. It’s a simple process, and it can produce results.
We also offer training for folks who want to talk to their elected officials to change public policy. In Maine, Mass., N.H., and Vermont, members of the MS community each out to state and federal legislators to advocate for removing obstacles to quality health care and accessibility. When people who have MS talk to elected officials, change happens. Politicians need your vote, so they are open to connecting with you.
Awareness of MS is very important. Lots of people have heard of MS, or know someone with MS, but not many actually understand MS. You can form new connections through training provided by our chapter on creating awareness in your community. It’s not complicated, and the choices are based on what works for you.
You might be a people person, who enjoys sharing information and connecting socially. You can volunteer to do that too! We’re also offering training on organizing social gatherings for people with MS and simple educational programs. You don’t need to be an MD or an expert on anything, just someone who likes to bring people together.
Training is available in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and Mass. on different dates, and in locations that should be drivable for most people. If you live in a border area, you’re welcome to attend whichever date and location work best for you. Check page 8 of this newsletter for details.
You only need to be over the age of 18, and have a desire to help, to volunteer and to be trained. As a result of the training, you will plan at least two activities in your community with the support of Chapter staff. Email or call to complete a pre-screening for the volunteer training session near you. Thank you for reaching out to make new connections!
President & CEO