Celebrating World MS Day
May 31 is World MS Day – your chance to raise awareness about MS with the world as your stage. The event was launched in 2009 by the MS International Federation, and is coordinated by the MSIF and its partners, including the MS Societies of 49 countries. World MS Day is held every year on the last Wednesday of May.
This year’s theme is Life with MS, and anyone whose life has been affected by MS is invited to tell his/or own story. You can use video, pictures, words or audio to share your tips about living with MS, then post them on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use the #LifewithMS hashtag and your tip will appear on the World MS Day website (https://worldmsday.org/lifewithms/).
World MS Day will be marked by events around the world. In Canada, red lights will illuminate the geodesic dome, the Sails of Light and B.C. Place in Vancouver; the Manitoba legislature in Winnipeg; Niagara Falls; the CN Tower in Toronto; and the Confederation building in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The Winnipeg event will also feature music by Sheena Grobb (https://sheenagrobb.com/), who has been living with MS since the age of 16.
For people hosting their own events, the MSIF has provided some free tools, such as posters, banners and logos, available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic.
World MS Day offers people the opportunity to share your stories and offer tips, such as how to manage MS symptoms. A useful tool to record your symptoms is a new mobile app called Symtrac, which can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play (symtrac.com/Canada). The app was developed by and for people with MS to enable them to document their symptoms, record how severe they are, and chart the results over time. You can also input information about your general physical and mental well-being.
The app addresses a common problem faced by people with MS. Many types of symptoms can occur – and these provide doctors with vital clues about the state of your MS. But by the time a person visits the MS clinic, they may have forgotten many of the details: when the symptom occurred, how often, how severe, and how daily life was affected. Symtrac will provide you with documentation that you can share with your neurologist or MS nurse. This will help them tailor their advice, tips and medications to meet people’s individual needs.
If you download the Symtrac app, let us know how you liked it. How would you rate its functionality and ease of use? Did you find it helpful to record your symptoms?
While visiting the App Store, check out the other apps that are available for people with MS, such as Noteness (an e-diary), the MS Attack App, and the My MS Team social networking app. Send us your feedback about these or other apps you find useful. This will help us in our contribution to World MS Day – the development of a new Technology column for our readers. We’ll be launching the column soon and your app reviews will be an integral part. So after you’ve shared your #LifewithMS tips, send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and share your thoughts about the MS apps you’ve been using.
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