Thank you to everyone who joined us in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) last month. Together we joined forces with disability advocates across the country to recommit to the ADA by signing the pledge for ongoing implementation of the ADA and contacting members of Congress to show our support for people with disabilities. Keep on top of Society advocacy efforts by signing up for the MS activist network.
Visit MSnorthwest.org or facebook.com/MSnorthwest.org for more information about advocacy, services and support, fundraising events, and more!
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MS symptoms such as vision issues or spasticity can make it difficult for people to get out of the house for doctor’s appointments, social engagements or even down the street to the grocery store. But MS doesn’t have to get in the way of getting where you need to go: check out your local public transportation options such as paratransit, call on friends and family, or look to your health insurance for logistical support.
Washington’s new transportation plan
This year, MS activists asked legislators to improve accessible transportation across our state by increasing “special needs” funding in the new statewide transportation plan—and they did! Millions of dollars in new funds will help ensure that Washington’s transportation system works better for people who aren’t able to drive because of a disability. Read more.
Improved access to healthcare in Alaska and Montana
Your voice was heard! MS activists have been asking legislators in both Alaska and Montana to expand Medicaid and improve access to healthcare for people affected by MS—and they did! Medicaid expansion will offer low-cost health insurance to individuals who make too much money for the traditional Medicaid program, but too little to receive subsidies on the health insurance exchange. Read more.
Network of Pediatric MS Centers (NPMSC) to expand
The Society has committed new funding to expand the Network of Pediatric MS Centers (NPMSC) by three centers, to 12 nationwide. Expanding this research network will enhance the ability to understand pediatric MS and its treatment, and unlock the mysteries of MS in adults by studying risk factors for the disease in children close to the time of diagnosis.
Volunteer spotlight: Lisa & Martin Boon
Local MS activist all-stars Lisa and Martin Boon were featured in this quarter’s MS Activist Spotlight. First connected with the Society in the early 1990s after Lisa was diagnosed with MS, the Boons have since been involved in Bike MS, Walk MS, Washington State Action Day, self-help groups and the MS Ambassador program. Is there anything they can’t do?!
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank Lisa, Martin and EVERY single one of our amazing volunteers who move us closer to a world free of MS every day.
Bike MS season is underway, with local rides in Idaho, Montana and Washington right around the corner! Maybe you’ve registered and have switched your focus to training and fundraising. Or maybe you’re contemplating riding or volunteering for the first time. If you’re looking for inspiration to keep you going or a nudge to help you take the plunge, read the story of Heather and Stephanie Nelson. They weren’t cyclists, but they both knew Bike MS was a challenge they were ready to take on … for their dad and a cure.