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E-news from the MS Society of Canada Saskatchewan Division

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We're Only a Phone Call Away

We know our world looks different right now and things continue to change every day, but one thing that remains the same is our commitment to the MS community and to a world free of MS.

Ensuring the health and safety of our entire community — people affected by MS, volunteers, fundraisers, donors, staff — remains our top priority. We have been monitoring restart plans in our communities across the country and have been working on our own plans. Given the nature and the risk of COVID-19 in relation to our MS community, we have made the decision to continue delivering on our mission within a remote working environment. We feel this decision will support our efforts to put the health and well-being of those we serve at the forefront of our work.

This also means we will continue to deliver programs and events virtually until at least the end of this year. During this time, our work to support Canadians affected by MS will not stop. We are encouraging virtual ways to connect members of the MS community — especially through this time period.

We're also only a phone call away. Our MS Society staff from across Canada are working remotely to deliver on the promise of our mission. Thank you for your continued support!

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Provincial Election




Saskatchewan’s provincial election will be held on October 26. In-person voting isn’t the only way you can make your voice heard this election. You now also have the option to register to vote by mail.

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Community Profile — Gerrie Taylor




Every Fall, we look forward to the return to support groups, wellness activities and catching up on what we missed over the summer. This year looks a bit different and until it’s safe for us to be together in person again, we will continue to provide support and programs for people affected by MS virtually.

Gerri Taylor, an MS community member living in Brandon, Manitoba shared with us her experience of joining NeuroSask a virtual wellness and connect program led by Dr. Sarah Donkers (PhD) and Dr. Katherine Knox (MD).

Following a stressful divorce and trading farm life for the city of Brandon, Gerrie was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS at the age of 57.

“When I was first diagnosed, I wanted to find out everything I could about the disease,” says Gerrie. “The MS Society staff were so helpful and supportive and introduced me to the programming available in my area. I have participated in the exercise and social programs ever since.”

Now in her 60s, her disease has advanced to secondary progressive MS. Once an active member of the local community, Gerrie has turned to the MS Society’s virtual programming to keep moving and stay connected to the MS community, from the safety and convenience of her home.

“I didn’t realize how much my activity level, and for sure my ability to walk, was kept going by attending regular fitness programs through the MS Society,” continues Gerrie. “When the pandemic hit, I needed to look for a way to still be active, but within my own condo. I found the NeuroSask program through the MS Society and I decided to give it a try.”

“I think when you are living with a chronic disease like MS, it’s important to connect with others who are going through similar challenges,” says Gerrie. “And that’s what NeuroSask has done for me — it has given me a place to still connect with others, practice physical activity in a way that’s right for my level of mobility, and a space to listen to interesting discussions on a variety of topics.”

“I did need to figure out how to use Zoom, but it wasn’t that difficult. Now, I receive the weekly emails, click on the link and I’m in! Participating in the NeuroSask program gave me something to look forward to twice a week when every other social gathering of any kind was wiped off the calendar. I think my biggest takeaway from this program is that I am not alone. There are others out there with similar challenges, there are professionals that are ready and willing to help, and there are interesting topics to pursue and create more joy in your life.”

Adjusting to life amid a pandemic has its challenges, especially for those living with MS. At the MS Society we remain committed to providing the supports our community needs.

Would you like to hear about virtual programming options as they come available? Email laurie.murphy@mssociety.ca to be added to the list.
 
NeuroSask: Active and Connected — Extended for Fall!

Launched in April 2020, 'NeuroSask: Active and Connected' was originally created as a 10-week virtual program tailored to people with neurological conditions as a way to provide information, physiotherapy-guided physical activity, and social-connection during the early phases of the pandemic.

Due to popular demand, a version of the original 'active and connected' initiative will continue to run two times per week until the end of December. 'NeuroSask' is a Saskatchewan-based initiative, but open to anyone who might benefit. It runs as a drop-in online program every Tuesday and Thursday; once you’ve registered you are welcome to join whenever you can!

    REGISTER    
 
Treatment Optimization in MS: New Recommendations from the Canadian MS Working Group [Updated Link]

How prepared do you feel before going to a neurology appointment?

In the August issue of the enewsletter, we shared the latest treatment optimization recommendations (TORs) developed by the Canadian MS Working Group to inform healthcare practitioners who specialize in MS management.

As a person living with MS, these recommendations can help you prepare for a discussion with your MS healthcare team and become your own health advocate. Following feedback we received from the community, we are resharing the information with a new link that makes it easier to navigate to the full list of recommendations and takeaways.

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1:1 Peer Support Program — Introducing OneCall for Your Specific Needs



Through the 1:1 Peer Support Program people affected by MS have been connecting with volunteers from the MS community and finding the support they need. These six-month long partnerships are great for people who need support on an ongoing basis.

We’re excited to launch our new OneCall stream, designed for people who have a specific question or issue related to MS that they want answered by a member of the MS community. Support is provided in the form of a phone call, up to one hour in length, a few days after a request has been submitted.

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Hear from the Experts: How to Take Charge of Your MS



With several different options for managing multiple sclerosis it can be overwhelming to decide what is best for you, especially when finding helpful information online can be a challenge.

On September 23, join pharmacist Catherine Savard for an informative webinar that will help you take charge of your MS. Catherine will discuss how to understand and distinguish between available treatments, how to make a change in adapted treatment if necessary, options for natural products and their limitations, and more.

    REGISTER    
 
Self-Advocacy: Your Voice Matters Webinar



Self-advocacy is important in educating others about your needs and empowering yourself to achieve your goals, whether it is to get information, change legislation and policy, or to obtain a service. This webinar on October 21 at 1:30 pm ET will provide information and guidance on how to be an effective self-advocate, including advocating for yourself through government channels and the medical system.

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WAMS Gala presented by LOVE YOU by Shoppers Drug Mart



Women Against Multiple Sclerosis (WAMS) is a powerful collective of professional women committed to raising funds for MS research while participating in an exclusive and meaningful networking opportunity.

This year’s WAMS Gala brings the best parts of a premium gala event into your home and is taking place on November 20. It includes: an online silent auction, a unique and personal networking opportunity, and keynote speaker Anna Maria Tremonti. VIP ticket purchasers will have the opportunity to join a Q&A session with our keynote, as well as other special guests.

     MORE EVENT DETAILS    
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MS Society of Canada
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