Can you imagine?
Having multiple sclerosis means that one morning you may not be able to walk when you wake up. Or that you may suddenly have impaired vision. Or that your memory will fail you for no apparent reason. The symptoms of MS are many and vary for everyone. It's estimated that approximately 55,000-75,000 men and women in Canada have the disease, and every day about three more people are diagnosed.
A future without MS
January 29, 2015 – Toronto – The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and the Multiple Sclerosis Scientific Research Foundation announced today a $4.2 million grant in support of the MEsenchymal Stem cell therapy for CAnadian MS patients (MESCAMS) study led by Dr. Mark S. Freedman (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute / University of Ottawa), who is also the principal investigator at the Ottawa site, along with the principal investigator of the Winnipeg site Dr. James J. Marriott (University of Manitoba) and colleagues. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) – found in many places in the body including the bone marrow, skin and fat – have been demonstrated to suppress inflammation and repair nerve tissue, positioning them as promising candidates for the treatment of MS. As a number of pioneering small studies have established the safety of administering MSC in humans, the excitement surrounding MESCAMS is profound. Taking place at two Canadian sites – located at The Ottawa Hospital and Health Sciences Centre (HSC) Winnipeg – MESCAMS will provide more definitive answers regarding the use of MSC to treat persons living with MS.
I've registered for the MS Walk because I want these types of research to continue in hopes that there is a cure for everyone who lives with multiple sclerosis. The MS Society is the only national voluntary organization in Canada that supports both MS research and services, and the MS Walk has been a critical part of the MS Society's fundraising efforts for over 20 years. Proceeds from this event and others like it provide support and services to help those living with this disease, their families and caregivers. They also fund research with three primary goals: to find a cause and cure for MS, repair nervous system damage caused by MS and stop MS attacks. By supporting me, you too can make a difference in the life of someone with multiple sclerosis.
An Update on Cheryl
There have been a ton of changes in Cheryl's life these past three years. With the support and services of the MS Society, Ontario Division, Cheryl has retrofitted her vehicle to hand controls. She also receives a yearly coverage to help pay for incidentals, along with a housekeeper who comes in twice a month to assist Cheryl with household chores that she can no longer perform. The biggest change is that she decided to move her professional location, and with her husband Jamie's help and that of her friends, she has moved her office into the basement of her new home, completely wheelchair assessible. All these changes have allowed her to maintain her independence and she remains positive, being active as a wife, mother of two kids who are involved in sports, as a volunteer for her MS Chapter, and as a business woman. So as you can see, your dollars do make a difference!
My team, Charlie's Angels, is walking for the 16th year and is a part of the MS Walk because we believe we will end multiple sclerosis - with your help we can get there. Please give generously.