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The Greater New England Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont and raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.”


From One MS Mom to Another: Tears, Love, and Support

May 30, 2014

PHOTO: (National MS Society) left to right: Brenda Goode, Marlene Surgecoff, Melissa Surgecoff

When Marlene Surgecoff, of Malden, volunteered to run the World MS Day information table at the Stop & Shop in Revere, she never dreamed the intense connection she would make that day.

Surgecoff’s daughter Melissa, 31, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis four years ago, and Marlene has been active in National MS Society events ever since. Staffing the information table was just another way to spread the word about the disease.

Surgecoff and her friend Brenda Goode set up their table early Saturday morning with informational brochures, orange balloons, and a special treat for visitors.

“We made ribbon lollipops…” said Marlene.

They also donned silly orange headbands as an ice breaker to anyone looking for information, but who might be a little too shy to ask.

“It made people more receptive to talk with us,” said Surgecoff. “We are just fun loving people.”

It worked. They were approached by numerous people going in and out of the grocery store.

“I was taken by how many people had a family member or knew someone who did (have MS).”

But it was one woman and her daughter who made the biggest impact on Surgecoff that day. They were about the same age as Marlene and Melissa Surgecoff. The woman approached Marlene and said, her daughter also had been diagnosed with MS.

“The mom started to cry,” said Marlene.  As she handed the woman a tissue, she talked with her “relaying from mom to mom.”

“It was such a nice bonding, one mom’s sadness to another,” said Surgecoff.  It was also one mom’s hope to another.

“I gave (her) my phone number (and said); if they need any resources…I will find the resources for them.”

Every connection counts.

If you or someone you know has MS, contact the National MS Society to learn what resources and help are available to you, 1-800-344-4867,

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

The National MS Society mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. The Society’s Greater New England Chapter serves 21,000 individuals and families affected by MS in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by talking to your health care professional and by contacting the National MS Society at, or 1 800 FIGHT MS (344 4867).

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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