STATE — Multiple sclerosis is a life altering disease that affects each person in a unique and different way. Therefore, to demonstrate the power and importance of the MS movement as a force by and for people living with MS, the New Jersey Metro Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and those living with MS here in New Jersey are joining people from across the nation during the month of March for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness to share, educate and build awareness about what multiple sclerosis means to them.
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system which interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from reduced or lost mobility to numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted. MS can develop at any age however most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men having the disease. MS affects more than 13,000 New Jersey residents, 400,000 people in the U.S., and over 2.1 million worldwide.
Advances in research are moving us closer to stopping the disease, restoring function that has been lost and ending MS forever. Moreover, MS has moved from an untreatable disease in 1993 to a treatable one today for the vast majority of people now diagnosed, thanks to the growing public support spurring exciting research and treatment breakthroughs that improve people’s quality of life. This is a very encouraging time if you have MS or know someone who lives with the disease because the first oral therapies that treat MS and manage MS symptoms are now available for those with relapsing forms of the disease. This is also a watershed year with more than a dozen therapies moving through the pipeline that hold promise of new and improved treatments for MS. Therefore advancing MS research and enhancing program services are ever more important.
All this month the New Jersey Metro Chapter will run programs and activities to help garner support for those living with the disease and to create a better understanding of what multiple sclerosis is.
The Chapter is embarking on the spring fundraising season with Walk MS, Bike MS, and MuckFest MS all coming in the next few months. These events aim to raise funds for MS research and local programs and services for those affected by the disease. For more information on what is happening during MS Awareness Month or how you can get involved, visit www.nationalMSsociety.org.njm or call 1-800-344-4867.