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Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month comes every year in March. What does it mean to bring awareness to MS? It amazes me that with around a million people living with multiple sclerosis here in America, there are still people who have never heard of this condition or who have a very limited knowledge of what MS is.
Yet the need to have a whole month set aside to make those who don't know about multiple sclerosis is a real thing. And if you do know someone newly diagnosed with MS, this month is a great place to start. And of course, if you live with this condition, new information is always coming out, so a month to raise awareness is where you can find it.
This past March, 2023, we found several sites addressing awareness of MS that we found helpful. We will list a few of them here in case you missed them or are just beginning your search to find information about multiple sclerosis. In any case, you will be ready next year (or in the future) when it rolls around again.
There's also one week - this year, it was March 12-19 - when MS Awareness Week is held in the US. The theme this year was "My MS Moment" - stories of life with multiple sclerosis were told through everyday moments that MSers experience. See the link below to find those stories if you are interested in seeing the world through the eyes of people just like you or those you love.
Another day, World MS Day, is observed on May 30th each year. It was established in 2009 by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF). On this day, an effort is made to unite the MS community around the world. There are more than 2.3 million people who live with multiple sclerosis. Their theme since 2020, till this year, 2023, was "Connections".
According to the website:
“MS Connections is all about building community connection, self-connection, and connections to quality care. We are challenging social barriers that leave people affected by MS feeling lonely and socially isolated.”
A few more upcoming dates to further awareness about multiple sclerosis are the following:
The MS Society is always advocating for people with multiple sclerosis with their walks, bike rides, and more. Here are a few dates that are coming up later this year (2023).
Challenge Walk MS - 3 days, 50 miles
Walk MS - Walk to end MS
If none of these dates work for you, Walk MS, Your Way "connects you to your Walk MS community with the freedom to design an event-day experience that's perfect for you-anywhere, anytime."
Bike MS - Many routes, one destination, a world free of MS - the link will take to the page to find and register for all of the bike routes coming up this year.
These are just a few Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month resources that you can take advantage of past the month of March and May of 2023. There are so many organizations that are striving to make people aware of this disease. Of course you are aware if you have MS, however, many only become aware of it when a loved one is diagnosed or someone in their close circle of friends is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and they choose to share it with them.
Others become aware of it when they hear of a celebrity who has recently chosen to share their diagnosis of MS with their fans, followers, and the world. This helps tremendously to get the word out their about MS.
I suppose many people wonder if these types of campaigns even help. We had our doubts when Cir first became diagnosed with MS and it seemed as though there hadn't been much progress in treatments or any movement towards a cure.
Since then, around the mid to late 90s, there has been a great amount of progress in the number of treatments available, each one getting a little better. The money being raised by organizations also seems to be being put to better use as far as actually helping those living with multiple sclerosis. The organizations also seem to be more transparent in providing monies to studies that are actively trying to find a cure.
These statements are just our opinions however. If you feel that this is not the case, we would love to hear from you whether you agree or disagree. Use the comment box below if you'd like to share.
Do you have a comment or feedback about this post? What are your feelings about MS Awareness Campaigns? Are they helpful or not? Have they helped you or a loved one with MS? We'd love to hear from you!
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Cir & Akrista
You are reading original content written by Akrista or Cir L'Bert of Life in Spite of MS. If you enjoyed reading this blog, please consider following us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. See you there!