How MSAA Provides Resources and Support to the 200 People in the U.S. Diagnosed With Multiple Sclerosis Each Week
By Multiple Sclerosis Association of America on June 21, 2016
Imagine waking up one morning and you can’t feel your legs… or you have double vision… or you have trouble moving and are too dizzy to stand. You go see your doctor, and you may go to several doctors, but eventually you are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). And you are just one of 200 people in the United States who are diagnosed every week with this debilitating condition.
Individuals with MS can experience a variety of challenging symptoms, from numbness, visual problems, balance issues, and reduced mobility, to bladder and bowel dysfunction, overwhelming fatigue, depression, and even cognitive deficits. Most people initially must endure sudden and severe flare-ups of these symptoms, while others cope with a steady worsening of symptoms that may never improve. And while we know that MS is not contagious, researchers have yet to discover a cause or a cure.
What do you do if you are one of these 200 people who are diagnosed each week? One of your most-urgent needs is to get information… on the disease, on the treatments for slowing disease activity, and on strategies for living with MS. You may need to locate resources, learn about clinical trials, and get tools to help you regain control. The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) can answer these needs and at no charge to the individual. MSAA provides a wealth of information through its website, award-winning publications and on-demand videos, as well as through a toll-free Helpline with trained specialists. MSAA’s highly acclaimed educational programs are another free service of MSAA, and these are hosted by top medical professionals from across the country. But all of these services cost money to produce, and your donations can help to keep these wonderful resources available to the MS community.
If you are one of these 200 people who are diagnosed each week, you may also need a safety or mobility device, such as a grab bar or wheelchair, and you may need special cooling equipment to reduce symptoms and help you continue to function in a warm environment. These items are absolutely critical to individuals who need help in these areas and who cannot easily purchase them. MSAA supplies and ships this equipment at no charge to those who cannot get them otherwise.
Did you know that a donation of only $50 will provide a shower chair for one individual in need? And $75 provides both a bathtub safety rail and grab bar. With a donation of $150, a cooling vest can be given to help reduce the symptoms of MS, and this can be life-changing for individuals who are affected by the heat. A wheelchair can be supplied and shipped with a donation of $600, which is only $50 per month if you become a sustaining donor.
MSAA also helps by providing information on all of the available treatments, informing people about insurance coverage options, and offering publications to assist, which even include resources for learning about and discussing long-term medications with your healthcare team. And once a person is diagnosed, he or she can keep track of symptoms, medications, side effects, and more, through MSAA’s free mobile app, My MS Manager™. As with MSAA’s other programs and services, these all cost money to produce and your donations to keep these types of services available are greatly needed.
Are you familiar with magnetic resonance imaging, also known as an MRI? This technology has revolutionized the care of individuals with MS. The MRI is essential not only for a diagnosis, but also to measure ongoing disease activity and to determine the effectiveness of one’s long-term treatment. MSAA’s MRI Access Fund helps individuals in need of this expensive technology to afford and obtain an MRI.
MSAA depends on the generosity of people like you to keep all of these urgent programs running and available at no charge to the MS community. Please contact MSAA today at support/mymsaa.org/donate or via phone at (800) 532-7667, ext. 146, to make a donation. Please help support our vital mission of Improving Lives Today!
Support This Cause Through Workplace Giving:
Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is a member of America's Charities. Your company can support MSAA through a corporate partnership and by starting an employee giving program with America's Charities. Our online giving technology and solutions can facilitate your workplace giving campaign and other company cause initiatives. America’s Charities has been mobilizing the workforce to affect social change through employee giving and other company philanthropic initiatives for over 35 years and we have raised more than $650 million of sustainable funds for more than 10,000 nonprofits as a result.