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U.S. Senate Passes MS Awareness Week Resolution

March 1, 2017

In advance of MS Awareness Week, which is March 5–11, the U.S. Senate today passed a resolution (S. Res. 77) in support of the week and all people affected by multiple sclerosis). Congressional MS Caucus Chair Senator Bob P. Casey of Pennsylvania introduced the resolution and was joined by his bi-partisan colleagues Senators Collins (ME), Markey (MA), Coons (DE), Menendez (NJ), Brown (OH), Isakson (GA), Feinstein (CA), Van Hollen (MD), Capito (WV), Moran (KS) and Thune (SD). U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13) will be introducing a similar resolution in the House of Representatives.

The movement is grateful to these congressional champions for their leadership and support of people affected by MS as we collaboratively work to stop MS in its tracks, restore what has been lost and end MS forever.

The resolution states in part:

Supporting the goals and ideals of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week.

Whereas multiple sclerosis (referred to in this preamble as “MS”) can impact individuals of all ages, races, and ethnicities but is at least 2 to 3 times more common in women than in men;

Whereas there are approximately 2,300,000 individuals worldwide who have been diagnosed with MS;

Whereas MS is typically diagnosed in individuals between the ages of 20 and 50, but it is estimated that between 8,000 and 10,000 children and adolescents are living with MS in the United States;

Whereas MS 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;

Whereas symptoms of MS range from numbness and tingling, to vision problems and paralysis, and the progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted;

Whereas, while there is no evidence that MS is directly inherited, studies show that there are genetic and, environmental factors that give certain individuals  a higher risk of developing MS;

Whereas the exact cause of MS is still unknown and there is no cure;

Whereas the Multiple Sclerosis Coalition, a national network of independent MS organizations dedicated to the enhancement of the quality of life for all those affected by MS, recognizes and supports Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week;

Whereas the mission of the Multiple Sclerosis Coalition is to increase opportunities for cooperation and provide greater opportunity to leverage the effective use of resources for the benefit of the MS community;

Whereas the United States plays a critical role in coordinating MS research globally and amplifies the impact of research in the United States through which results are delivered to MS patients;

Whereas, in 2012, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society was a founding member of the International Progressive MS Alliance, which coordinates research to accelerate the development of treatments for progressive MS by removing international scientific and technological barriers and, as of 2017, includes 16 MS organizations societies from 15 countries, 8 Foundation and Trust members and 5 pharmaceutical partners;

Whereas the Multiple Sclerosis Coalition recognizes and supports Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week during March of every calendar year;

Whereas the goals of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week are to invite people to join the movement to end MS, encourage everyone to do something to demonstrate a commitment to moving toward a world free of MS, and acknowledge those who have dedicated time and talent to help promote MS research and programs; and
Whereas, in 2017, Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week is recognized during the week of March 5 through March 11.

While building awareness is a year-round effort, MS Awareness Week serves as a platform for everyone affected by MS across the country to share strategies and experiences to live their best lives. Together we are stronger.

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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