What is MS?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) involves an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. The exact antigen — or target that the immune cells are sensitized to attack — remains unknown, which is why MS is considered by many experts to be "immune-mediated" rather than "autoimmune."
MS is thought to affect more than 2.3 million people worldwide. While the disease is not contagious or directly inherited, epidemiologists — scientists who study patterns of disease — have identified factors in the distribution of MS around the world that may eventually help determine what causes the disease. These factors include gender, genetics, age, geography and ethnic background.
Where does your donation go?
Our supporters' generous donations help serve their local friends and neighbors affected by MS by:
- Supporting research and training projects aimed at finding the cause of MS, better treatments and a cure.
- Informing and educating people with MS about a variety of issues through newsletters, publications, education seminars and conferences, and at-home telelearning.
- Providing direct support and financial assistance for the FDA-approved medications, medical equipment, counseling services, respite, care management, college scholarships, and other emergency assistance.
- Supporting emotional health and physical well-being through a network of self-help groups, a peer support telephone program, wellness programs, wellness grants, exercise classes, retreats, and more!
- Stimulating changes in public policy by coordinating a statewide and nationwide Government Relations Committee and providing training and support to our constituents about issues impacting people with MS.
Here's a sample of your donated dollars at work:
- $250: could fund a transport chair, accessible transportation to a medical appointment, or a portable ramp
- $500: could help fund a college scholarship for a high school senior who is living with MS or whose parent is living with MS
- $1,000: could pay for a hospital bed, half of a standard chair lift, or utility or rental assistance to two people living with MS
- $43,000: could fund a research grant (average cost)