Why I raise money for MS.
I raise money for MS for many reasons. The big dream would be to see a cure discovered but the pragmatic side of me wonders if that’s too big a dream for my lifetime. Realistically I raise money because I want answers, answers that will either lead to a cure or to a point where prevention of the development of MS can be achieved.
Currently there are just too many variables and unanswered question surrounding MS. Why to some people develop MS, What genetic, viral, environmental, DNA combination unlocks the secret to MS development and then how do we prevent MS? How does RRMS progress to SPMS and how to prevent the progression? What are the different mechanisms between the development of RRMS and PPMS? What combination of healthy living, medications can assist in the halting of progression? All of these questions require answers before a cure can be found, and then the big one: Is there even one answer at all because all cases are so varied…
So I raise money for answers. Working in the field of MS likely helped me adapt and accept my diagnosis as I seen so many different pathways that the disease takes which I think helped me accept and make choices on how to treat my own disease but even with all my knowledge there is just so many unanswered questions.
I also raise money for the supports that the MS society provides to people and families affected by MS. The MS society provides supports that are both out of the realm of the medical profession and outside of the resources of the health care system. They can provide a neutral (non-medical) support group for people, they provide numerous printed/ online material that helps those diagnosed or curious understand different aspects of the disease. They can assist with the difficult navigation of the system (which can be extremely helpful to those who distrust the conventional system), help patient and families develop support networks with people like them who understand their unique struggles. The MS society goes so far beyond just money for research as many people believe. I have personally only used the MS society once when I was first diagnosed, however have used their materials and pointed hundreds of patients, caregivers and others towards their wonderful programs and website.
Continuing to raise money is also my way to say thank you to those who have fundraised in the past. Those who have gotten us to the point where I can be diagnosed with MS at 27 and still have hope for a long and full life. Sure there may need to be adjustments made, and new normal found but research has gotten us to the place where those diagnosed still have hope. I’m excited to see where continued funding and research leads us.
So in a nut shell:
I raise money to help improve the quality of life for those of us diagnosed with MS and to support the passion the researchers, physicians and others have towards finding us the answers we want, which hopefully one day will lead to better control of MS or to the prevention of the development of MS and maybe ultimately a cure.