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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 19, 2012

One of 14 students receiving 2012 MS Scholarships

WATERTOWN, Conn. – Watertown High School senior Melissa Dodge has been named to receive the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter’s 2012 Corn-Carter MS Family Scholarship.

Dodge, 18, an honor student and athlete, will attend Saint Joseph’s College in West Hartford in the fall. She plans to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in special education.

Dodge, who lives in Watertown, is a four-year varsity letter winner for girls’ basketball. She was a two-time first team allNaugatuck Valley League selection for soccer and also was a three-year letter winner for track. Dodge is also a member of the National Honor Society.

Dodge volunteers for the Thomaston Opera House and First Congregational Church of Watertown and also babysits for family members and neighbors.

In addition to her responsibilities at school, Dodge shares in the workload at home, helping her mother, Elizabeth, care for her younger brother and sister. Dodge credits her mother, who battles multiple sclerosis, as the person who most inspires her.

“My mother’s disease has made me realize that no matter the circumstances, you should never let something get you down,” said Dodge. “Dreams are possible only if you ignore and conquer the roadblocks along the way. Mom struggles sometimes, but she has never given up and let her MS get the best of her. If I am half as strong as my mother is, I know that nothing will be out of my reach.”

More than 6,000 Connecticut residents, like Elizabeth Dodge, are affected by multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease affecting the central nervous system. The cause is unknown and, as a result, there is currently no cure for MS. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness, loss of mobility and, in some more severe cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.

Dodge 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 14 high school graduates receiving a 2012 scholarship from either the Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s Miracle MS Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Jo-Ann Concilio Memorial Fund or the Corn-Carter MS Family Scholarship Fund.

The Corn-Carter MS Family Scholarship is made possible through the generosity of Jennifer Corn-Carter and her family. Jennifer Corn-Carter, of Darien, has lived with MS for more than 30 years. In 2010 the chapter presented her with the Georgina B. Davids Award in May in recognition of her 25 years of volunteerism and support.

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


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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