March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, so we put together a list of helpful resources for the Cure Nation, along with introducing you to some famous faces who also have the condition. Enjoy!
Understanding Multiple Sclerosis
“Multiple sclerosis (MS)”, according to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, “is an unpredictable disorder that can cause a variety of symptoms, which for many, can flare-up and then subside over the course of days, months, or even years. MS is most frequently diagnosed in young adults, although individuals of any age may be diagnosed with this neurological condition.”
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society reports that an estimated 2.3 million people worldwide are affected by MS.
The National MS Society (NMSS) goes on to explain, “While the disease is not contagious or directly inherited, epidemiologists — scientists who study patterns of disease — have identified factors in the distribution of MS around the world that may eventually help determine what causes the disease. These factors include gender, genetics, age, geography and ethnic background.”
There are four primary forms of MS, identified by a NMSS in a 1996 study:
- secondary-progressive and
Relapsing-remitting is the most common form, affecting an estimated 85-90% of MS patients.
FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO HAVE MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
You’re not alone in your battle against MS. A growing number of celebrities are opening up about their condition are sharing their stories in hopes of educating more people about it.
According to the Everyday Health website, “famous people who do go public with their MS diagnosis often do it to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis, and many go on to raise funds for MS research, either through established MS organizations or through foundations they create on their own.
Celebrities can help to put a human face on multiple sclerosis and get the public interested in the disease. On the downside, celebrities who show no outward signs of having MS or who promote particular drugs, diets, or other therapies can — inadvertently or not — give the public a misleading impression of MS and MS treatment.”
Here’s a few famous faces who also have Multiple Sclerosis:
- Montel Williams
Talk show host Montel Williams revealed his MS diagnosis in 1999. “When the neurologist said those words — ‘You have MS’ — it hit me like a brick,” Williams shared on the Montel Williams MS Foundation website. “I thought the diagnosis was a death sentence.”Montel used his fear as motivation to create a non-profit that aimed to advance medical research for the disease. While it was in operation, Montel’s foundation gave away more than $1.5 million in medical research grants.
- Jamie-Lynn Sigler
Jamie-Lynn is most well-known for her starring role as the of mobster Tony Soprano on the award-winning HBO drama The Sopranos . She revealed to People magazine that she’d been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 20, but generally kept it a secret because she was not ready to go public.She says she decided to go public with her condition in order to be a strong role model for her young son, stating, “I wanted to be an example to him of strength and courage.”
Like many people who have MS, Jamie-Lynn told People magazine, “I can’t walk for a long period of time without resting. I cannot run.”
3. Neil Cavuto
In 1997, Fox News Channel anchor Neil Cavuto had already waged a personal war against a form of cancer known as Hodgkin lymphoma. He thought his cancer had returned from remission when he developed symptoms like blindness and tingling.Instead his physician told Neil that he had Multiple Sclerosis. Now, more than 20 years after being diagnosed, Neil is still appearing as a news anchor on the nightly news.
You may notice, though, that he has a raspy voice — this is also a symptom of MS. “I just try to take it day by day,” he said to Zap2It.com. “If I can help anyone with MS or a disease and say, ‘It’s really your attitude,’ then I’m doing a service, not by constantly yapping about it, but by doing my job.”
National Resources to Support Your Journey with Multiple Sclerosis
Whether you have been recently diagnosed or have been dealing with MS for sometime, there’s sure to come a point where resources will be helpful in navigating your condition. Or maybe you’d just like to connect with someone who shares your experience. Check out these national organizations below that were created specifically to support you.
You Don’t Know Jack About MS
This free website with a catchy name was created by Jack Osbourne, of MTV’s The Osbourne’s fame, in partnership with Teva Neuroscience, after Jack was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS (RMS) in 2012.
“The vision was to start a new conversation about MS — to dispel myths, educate and help patients manage their disease. To bring a personal connection to the program, Jack shares his journey and experience with MS to emphasize the importance of patient and family support and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”
On Jack’s blog and webisodes, he and those close to him offer personal reflections on living life with RMS. He also takes his audience behind the scenes on the A&E show he stars in with his dad, Ozzy, entitled “Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour!”
If you’re looking to learn about your condition while being entertained, this is the place for you!
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Motivated to create a world free of MS, the NMSS’s mission is to ensure that “people affected by MS can live their best lives as we stop MS in its tracks, restore what has been lost and end MS forever.”
NMSS also offers MS Navigators, which are highly skilled, compassionate professionals that are able to connect you to the information, resources and support needed to move your life forward. These supportive partners help navigate the challenges of MS unique to your situation, providing:
- Information and education to help people with MS and their support teams powerfully advocate for what you need, when and how you need it
- Emotional support resources for people with MS as well as family and carepartners, including support groups and ways to connect with others living with MS
- Help through the complexities of finding a healthcare provider, benefits, insurance and access to coverage, and employment
- Resources to face financial challenges and plan for the future
- Wellness strategies that can make an impact on quality of life with MS including diet, exercise, emotional well-being and connection to local wellness resources
- Assessment for personalized case management through the Edward M. Dowd Personal Advocate Program
- Crisis intervention in times of need
To connect with an MS Navigator, explore a library of helpful resources, and to find programs, events and services in your area, click here.Interested in getting involved? Find a Walk for MS in your area!
“Walk MS helps us team up with friends, loved ones and co-workers to change the world for everyone affected by MS. Together, we become a powerful force. And with every step we take, every dollar we raise … we’re that much closer. Together, we will end MS forever.”
Multiple Sclerosis Association of America
Another non-profit organization that is supporting people with MS on a national level is MSAA. Their mission is to be a leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support.
MSAA provides a variety of free resources and educational tools for patients, including a toll-free helpline and chat, which can be reached a number of ways:
- Call (800) 532-7667, ext. 154. Helpline hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, EST; with extended Wednesday hours until 8 pm EST.
- Email MSquestions@mymsaa.org
- Chat live via your computer through the online MS Chat feature
- Visit MSAA’s blog MS Conversations featuring timely, interactive discussions of topics important to the entire MS community
In celebration of MS Awareness Month, MSAA is proud to participate with educational activities and events throughout the country. MSAA has focused 2018’s awareness campaign on Understanding MS Progression, with specific topics addressing MS relapse management, brain preservation and cognition in MS, and healthy living with primary-progressive MS (PPMS). Find out more.
The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
The last resource we’ve got for you is the MS Foundation, which also provides a whole lot of free online information and referrals. Resources include peer support, MS research, advocacy and a lending library.
Another great thing about the MS Foundation is that they offer some great resources for grants and funding for individuals living with MS. You can find financial assistance programs for the following:
- Healthcare and homecare assistance
- Assistive technology
- Cooling (products to help with body temperature regulation)
- Brighter Tomorrow (to help individuals reach personal goals)
- General emergency assistance (rent, utilities, medication)
- Health and wellness grants (including yoga, aquatics, exercise and fitness, therapeutic horseback riding, adaptive sports and recreation, art therapy, dance therapy)
Managing Bladder Issues with Multiple Sclerosis
We understand at Cure Medical that bladder issues like urinary retention are a common symptom that is often associated with MS. We want you to know that we, at Cure Medical, take your health seriously — our founder Bob Yant uses our products too!
That’s why we make our intermittent catheters without scary chemicals like DEHP, BPA or latex. We have a variety of options, lengths and styles for men and women.
Ladies, you may want to try the new Cure Ultra for Women – it’s pre-lubricated and discreet with small packaging, meaning it’s ready to use when you are on the go, and no one needs to know.
To request free samples of the Cure Ultra® Ready-to-Use Catheter for women or any Cure Medical catheter, contact your local distributor of quality healthcare products, or click here.
NOT MADE WITH DEHP, BPA, OR NATURAL RUBBER LATEX
By investing in advanced technology and selecting high quality materials for manufacturing, Cure Medical helps ensure that users experience maximum safety, comfort, and peace of mind.
One of the ways that we care for our customers is by making a conscious decision not to use scary chemicals in our products, like known-carcinogens DEHP and BPA, or natural rubber latex.
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All of the information you find below and on our related social media pages is meant to guide you to places, topics and resources that enhance your life, while also connecting you with a growing group of friends.
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