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A Statement from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

February 14, 2024

For more than 75 years, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has advanced one bold vision—a world free of MS. Through thousands of volunteers, dedicated staff, and generous donors, we live that vision every day. We welcome anyone to join us to advance that mission. As an organization, we firmly believe that we best serve and support those living with MS by creating a space that welcomes all. This is especially true for self-help group leaders, who are responsible for leading meetings for people affected by MS to confide in and support one another. Recently, a volunteer, Fran Itkoff, was asked to step away from her role because of statements that were viewed as not aligning with our policy of inclusion. Fran has been a valued member of our volunteer team for more than 60 years. We believe that our staff acted with the best of intentions and did their best to navigate a challenging issue. As an organization, we are in a continued conversation about assuring that our diversity, equity and inclusion policies evolve in service of our mission, and will reach out to Fran in service of this goal.

See an updated statement from Feb. 21, 2024.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. Currently there is no cure. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include disabling fatigue, mobility challenges, cognitive changes, and vision issues. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize disability. Significant progress is being made to achieve a world free of MS.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The National MS Society, founded in 1946, is the global leader of a growing movement dedicated to creating a world free of MS. The Society funds cutting-edge research for a cure, drives change through advocacy and provides programs and services to help people affected by MS live their best lives. Connect to learn more and get involved: nationalMSsociety.org, Facebook, X, formerly known as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or 1-800-344-4867.

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© 2024 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.