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


Sean Gallagher, Greater Illinois Chapter board of trustees chair, receives prestigious MS Society award

December 8, 2014

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Illinois Chapter recently honored Greater Illinois Chapter board of trustees Chair Sean Gallagher with its Norman Cohn Hope Award. The award is the MS Society’s most prestigious volunteer award at the chapter level and is presented to someone who has maintained an exceptional leadership role in the community.

The award is named for Norman Cohn who was an active supporter of the movement to end MS for 33 years, committing his time, wisdom and personal resources to help those living with MS. Gallagher, of Darien, Illinois, received the honor because he epitomizes Cohn’s vision for voluntary civic action and hope for the future.

Gallagher has served as chair of the Greater Illinois Chapter’s board of trustees for three years, and he has been a board member for the past decade. As chair, he was instrumental in leading the chapter through a transition period when he first took over, steadying its financial situation and ultimately leading it to a period of sustained financial growth. Under his leadership, the chapter achieved record-breaking fundraising success, resulting in 27 percent growth from 2013 to 2014, the highest increase in the nation.

He was also instrumental in leading the chapter’s increase in gross revenue to $1.7 million over the past four years through fundraising events — including Walk MS, Bike MS, Dinner of Champions and Women on the Move — in addition to increased Illinois lottery funding.

Gallagher is a long-time supporter of Bike MS, first as a rider in 2006 and then a year later as a team captain. Over the past eight years, his bike team has raised over $225,000 and he has personally secured more than $83,000 in donations. A devoted family man, Gallagher involves his wife and two children in fundraising events such as Walk MS, MS Slugfest and MuckFest MS. Together, Gallagher and his wife have personally donated nearly $75,000 to help create a world free of MS.

Gallagher’s term as board chair will conclude on Feb. 4, 2015, but he will continue to work with the MS Society board as the vice chair. In addition to his work with the Greater Illinois Chapter, Gallagher works for Inland Bank & Trust as the senior vice president and group head within the commercial banking group. 

About the Greater Illinois Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The Greater Illinois Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS across a 73-county territory, starting at the Wisconsin-Illinois border and extending south through the northern and central areas of Illinois, and to raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.

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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