Celebrate World MS Day!
May 30th is the date of the fifteenth annual World MS Day, a time to raise awareness about MS and advocate for solutions to the many challenges faced by people living with MS.
This year’s theme is ‘Connections’ – meant to highlight the need for people with MS to maintain and build their interactions with family, friends and the broader community. The theme also underscores the need for better (and more equitable) access to healthcare services. A great deal of work still needs to be done to enable the three million people worldwide who are living with MS to overcome the many barriers they face in accessing quality care, laboratory and imaging services, medications and social supports.
The World MS Day committee hopes to build communities that support people affected by MS, promote self-care and healthy living, lobby decision-makers for better services and effective treatments, and connect people with MS to research efforts. People are encouraged to organize events in their community, share their story with local media and social media (#MSConnections and #WorldMSDay). Or you can share an MS Heart – using two hands (yours or you and a friend) to create a heart shape. You can take a picture and send it to a friend or add it to the World MS map (https://worldmsday.org/map/).
A shout out to MS Australia, which is using World MS Day as a springboard to advocate for MS nurses. MS nurses are an all-important Connection in MS care – helping people access expert care, providing education about MS, and linking people to healthcare services and community resources. MS Australia did a study (called the MS Nurse Care in Australia Report) which showed that people who had access to an MS nurse had lower levels of disability, less severe symptoms and better quality of life. Their contributions to care are vital (but often overlooked).
Whether organizing or participating a local event or sharing your thoughts on social media, there are many opportunities to raise awareness about MS and share your story on World MS Day.
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