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The Connecticut Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Connecticut and raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.



June 18, 2012

GUILFORD, Conn.- Jennifer Laurie, Guilford, has been named to receive the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter’s, 2012 Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s Miracle MS Memorial Scholarship.

Laurie, 18, who graduated from Guilford High School, will attend Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. She plans to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in sports medicine.

Laurie was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age three.In spite of this diagnosis, she fights through the pain and remains active in extracurricular activities such as the Guilford High School dance team. She is also an active fundraiser for Walk MS, Relay for Life, and the Buddy Walk.

Additionally, Laurie struggled academically and couldn’t understand why until she was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder during her junior year. Once she had an answer, her grades steadily improved.

When Laurie was young, her mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease. Laurie cites her mother as her inspiration and her best friend. Laurie said having a mother with MS has made her a strong, sensitive and understanding person.

“I have never met anyone like her,” says Laurie, of her mother. “She’s strong-willed and face anything in her path. I hope to be just like her when I’m an adult and have children of my own.”

More than 6,000 Connecticut residents, like Laurie’s mother, have multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. Multiple sclerosis generally affects more women than men and is often diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50. Symptoms can include numbness and tingling in the limbs, difficulties with speech and vision and, in some severe cases, complete paralysis. There is no cure for multiple sclerosis.

Laurie was recognized by the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, at its annual Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s Miracle MS Memorial Scholarship Reception, which was held at the Country Club of Farmington, Thursday, June 7. She is one of 10 high school graduates receiving a 2012 Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s Miracle MS Memorial scholarship.

Petit Family Scholarships are made possible through the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter’s, Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s MS Memorial Fund, which also supports family programs. The fund was established in July 2007 by the family to honor the memory of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, who had MS, and her daughters Haley and Michaela, were active with the chapter helping raise funds to support scientific research for cure. The National MS Society scholarship program is offered annually to vocational, technical, or college-bound high school seniors diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or to applicants whose parents has multiple sclerosis.

Scholarship applications for the 2013 school year will be available online in October. For more information on MS or for additional information on 2013 MS scholarship criteria, please contact the Connecticut chapter at 860-913-2550 or


About the Connecticut Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The Connecticut Chapter strives to provide knowledge and assistance to help people with MS and their families maintain the highest possible quality of life. These goals are achieved through vital national and local programs.

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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