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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 8, 2012

One of 14 students receiving MS scholarships this year.

MANCHESTER, Conn.- Caitlyn Mockler, Manchester, has been named to receive a National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter’s, 2012 Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s Miracle MS Memorial Scholarship.

Mockler, 17, who graduated from Manchester High School, will attend Suffolk University in Boston, Mass., in the fall. She plans to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism. Mockler, who is ranked in the top one percent of her class, has received two academic awards, including the National Honor Society Award, 2011; and the CCC All-Academic Team Award, in 2011.

Mockler is the captain of her school’s volleyball team. She volunteers for the Manchester Association for Retarded Citizens (MARC), a local not-for-profit agency that supports people with disabilities. Mockler also participates in Relay for Life, an event that helps communities celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer and remember loved ones lost to cancer. She is also involved in the fight against multiple sclerosis.

“I hope to continue raising awareness for multiple sclerosis and to make sure no one feels alone,” said Mockler, whose mother battles the debilitating effects of MS. “The effects of MS often leave my mother feeling lonely, but she refuses to let it get her down. She remains upbeat and positive.”

In Sept. 2011, Mockler’s mother, Dawn Mockler, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease. Active in the cause, Caitlyn Mockler designed orange tee-shirts to raise awareness and to express to those who have MS; they are not alone.

More than 6,000 Connecticut residents, like Mockler’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.

Mockler 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. Four students received college scholarships from either the Jo-Ann Concilio Memorial Fund or the Corn-Carter Family Scholarship fund.

Petit family scholarships are made possible through the chapter’s Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s MS memorial Fund, which supports National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, 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, who 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 parent 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


Laura Desiral is a junior at Quinnipiac University in Hamden. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations. Desiral is currently conducting a public relations internship the at National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, in Hartford.

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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