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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.


She Loves To Laugh Laughing Yoga Instructor To Headline Women’s Luncheon

October 31, 2013

HARTFORD, Conn. – Multiple sclerosis is no laughing matter. However, Larissa Nusser, who herself was diagnosed with MS in 2000, has found a way to laugh in its face. Nusser, a graduate of the Integral Yoga Institute of Manhattan, is an exciting, interactive motivational speaker who is a certified yoga instructor. Nusser, who is also a certified life coach with Coach Training Alliance, will serve as keynote speaker for the 2013 NBC Connecticut Greater Hartford Women Against MS Luncheon, this year presented by Comcast. 

Nusser, a resident of Staten Island, N.Y., teaches laughter yoga, a revolutionary idea that is sweeping the country and beyond. Laughing yoga combines unconditional laughing with yogic breathing. Essentially, anyone can laugh for no reason and with proper techniques and breathing, unconditional laughing becomes contagious.

“We are delighted to have Larissa guest at this year’s luncheon,” said Meg Staubley, event organizer. “Larissa’s message promises to be inspiring, motivating and, of course, jolly.”

Back by popular demand, the 2013 Women Against MS Luncheon will again feature a shopping extravaganza before and after the lunch program. Guests are encouraged to invite co-workers, friends and family to the fight against MS. The Greater Hartford Women Against MS Luncheon will take place Friday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Shopping begins at 10 a.m., with the lunch program starting at noon. Shopping will resume after the lunch program. Returning for a fifth year, the luncheon will be hosted by Lisa Carberg, evening news anchor for NBC Connecticut.

Like Nusser, more than 6,000 Connecticut residents battle multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness and tingling in the extremities, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness in the limbs, and in extreme cases, complete paralysis. There currently is no cure for multiple sclerosis. Statistics reveal women are two times more likely to be diagnosed with MS than men. Funds raised through National MS Society events, such as WAMS luncheons, ensure ongoing scientific research to find better treatments and a cure. These funds also provide for the continuation of local programs and services offered by the Connecticut Chapter to those it serves.

This year’s luncheon will honor Simsbury residents Michael and Jennifer O’Toole. In honor of his mother’s battle against MS, Michael has raised $94,000 through his annual Get Your Irish Up For MS event held each spring. The couple will receive the Maureen Jessen Award, an award recognizing exceptional achievement in supporting the fight against multiple sclerosis.

The 2013 NBC Connecticut Greater Hartford Women Against MS Luncheon, hosted by NBC Connecticut news anchor Lisa Carberg, takes place Friday, Dec. 6, at the Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Blvd., in Hartford. For more information on the Women Against MS Luncheon or to reserve a seat, please call 860-913-2550 or visit



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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