MS is all about connections. From neurological connections damaged by the disease, to personal connections between family members and among many others who provide care and support, and who raise funds for MS research, services, and advocacy, connection define MS. That is why connection is the focal point of the theme for MS Awareness Week 2012 (March 12-18).
The strong connections among family members who have a loved with MS are a tremendous bond that helps overcome the challenges presented by the disease. Friends and coworkers also form connections that become closer when people they care about are coping with multiple sclerosis.
How can you make a connection? Consider the choice of someone who hasn’t been on a bicycle since childhood to commit time and energy to train for, and then ride 150 miles over two days, while raising hundreds, even thousands of dollars in the process. Think about the emotional motivation needed for someone to choose to walk 50 miles in three days, and to raise at least $1,500 dollars to earn the right to do so.
What about the business who decides to sponsor an MS fundraising event or program, dedicating their resources to support the MS movement, because they know that the connection to the National MS Society will help build connections among their customers and their employees that can only help their performance in the marketplace.
Forming new connections, partnering with others is the most powerful weapon we have in the fight against MS. The National MS Society regularly partners with individuals, businesses, media, and other organizations in order to advance our mission. No one organization can do it all. Delivering MS education, and health and wellness programs, direct services, and more is routinely accomplished by partnering with other organizations that possess expertise and capacity to get the job done efficiently. This holds true also for fundraising, where we partner with businesses and media outlets to spread the word and to recruit participants. And, of course, the volunteers and people who participate in Walk MS, Bike MS, MS Challenge Walk, and many other events are in many ways our closest partners.
Every time we connect with someone new, it’s an opportunity to share what we know about MS, which can in turn help someone who has MS or aid in raising funds. What can you share? You can share what you know about living with MS that gets you through the day. You can share knowledge you’ve gained about navigating health insurance to get coverage for the treatment and care that you need. You can share the joyful experience that’s gained when we all come together at Walk MS, Bike MS, and MS Challenge Walk, and give others the chance to share in that moment.
The bottom line is “Share What You Know,” and that act will build connections that will strengthen our movement, and will take us closer to a world free of MS.
SHARE WHAT YOU KNOW. Visit MSconnection.org.
President & CEO
MS Awareness Week, March 12–18, is a time for people affected by MS to connect with others, share knowledge and take action to increase awareness about the disease. Your voice and the connections you create will make the movement even more powerful.
MS destroys connections inside us. It disconnects the mind from the body and people from each other. But what if we could forge connections that MS couldn’t destroy? What if we could connect more people in more ways around this disease? Would they share more knowledge? More questions? More answers? More hope? Maybe, by connecting enough small victories, we could win some really big ones.
Think about this scenario and how ‘connections’ make a difference: A man in Arizona clicks “share:” on an article on how to keep health insurance coverage — it stops a woman in New Hampshire from losing her health insurance, which means she can afford her daily medications.
Great Activities Planned for MS Awareness Week!
March 12-18, 2012 • What are you doing?
- Create a video to share your connection to MS. Post your MS Awareness Home Video on YouTube today!
- Update your Facebook Status
- Post on Twitter
- Write a letter to the editor of your local paper
- Raise MS aWEARness by wearing orange; need something new? Visit the Society Store.
- Sign up to volunteer at an upcoming chapter event
- Form a team: Bike MS, Walk MS, or Challenge Walk
- Donate: Support the Society — every donation moves us closer to a world free of MS
- Spread the Word: Tell five people it’s MS Awareness Week and ask them to tell five more people
- Newsletter article: an article that you can submit to a hospital newsletter or any company newsletter
- Distribute MS Awareness Week buckslips
For infomation for any of these projects, visit the MS Awareness page.
Here are some activities during and around MS Awareness Week:
- March 3 - Climb to the Top, Boston
- March 3 - Puzzle-A-thon
- March 10-11 - Regional KGMST Weekend Program, Springfield, MA
- March 10-17 - Flags of Hope, Bernie & Phyl’s, Saugus
- March 10-17 - Flags of Hope, Bernie & Phyl’s, Nashua
- March 10-17 - Flags of Hope, UVM, Vermont
- March 10-17 - Flags of Hope, HealthSouth New England Rehab Hospital, Portland
- March 13 - Vermont Statehouse coffee break
- March 13 - Open house at Manchester, NH office
- March 13 - Open house at Williston, VT office
- March 13: “Try on MS” information table at Plymouth State University, NH
- March 14 - MS Day at the NH Statehouse, Concord
- March 14 - “Dining for a Cause”, Cosi Restaurant, Wareham
- March 15 - Open house at Waltham office
- March 15 - MS Day at the Maine Capitol, Augusta
- March 16 - Open house at Williston, VT office
- March 16 - Coffee and Conversation, Bangor & Falmouth, Maine
- March 17 - Cognifitness, Old Town, ME
- March 21 - Milestones Gala, Orono, Maine
- March 23 - Women on the Move Leadership Luncheon, Portland
To learn more about these activities and more, visit the Chapter Calender at a Glance.