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Society Co-Sponsors Rally for Medical Research

April 5, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On April 8 at 11 a.m., thousands of people will gather on the Carnegie Library grounds to participate in the Rally for Medical Research to raise awareness of the critical need to make funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) a priority. The National MS Society and nearly 200 other health and science organizations have united for this first-of-its-kind event, founded and organized by the American Association for Cancer Research.

The National Institutes of Health is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world and has been a driving force behind many decades of advances that have improved the health of people in every corner of America. The Rally for Medical Research will unite Americans across the country to call on our nation’s policymakers to make life-changing medical research funding a national priority. This unified call to action will raise awareness about the critical need for a sustained investment in the NIH to improve health, spur more progress, inspire more hope and improve more lives.

Federal funding for medical research at the NIH has continued to decline since 2003, putting the public’s future health at risk. On April 2, Dr. Timothy Coetzee, the Society’s Chief Research Officer was among a distinguished array of leaders from research and patient advocacy organizations invited to the White House as part of President Obama’s unveiling of the historic research initiative Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, or “BRAIN” for short. The initiative has been established to map the human brain in order to understand for the first time how millions of brain cells interact. The project will engage both government and private institutions and will include the National Institutes of Health.“The Rally for Medical Research will raise awareness among members of Congress and the general public about the critical need for a sustained investment in the NIH so that we can advance research to find the best treatments to restore lost connections in MS and other life altering diseases,” observes Dr. Coetzee.

The Rally for Medical Research, to be streamed live on YouTube, will welcome many speakers, including:
  • Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the NIH;
  • Congressman Christopher Van Hollen (D-Md.), the Society’s MS Caucus Co-Chair and 2009 Representative of the Year who recently circulated a Dear Colleague letter to support $10 million for MS research though the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP); and
  • Many individuals from all walks of life who can share firsthand experiences about a wide range of diseases where research breakthrough have changed their lives and their futures.

Urge your members of Congress to support MS research today.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.


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