World MS Day

A day to celebrate global solidarity and hope for the future

World MS Day is officially marked on the last Wednesday of May every year, though events and campaigns take place throughout the month of May.

It brings the global MS community together to share stories, raise awareness and campaign with and for everyone affected by multiple sclerosis.

In 2009, the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) and its members initiated the first World MS Day. Together we have reached hundreds of thousands of people around the world, with a campaign focusing on a different theme each year.

In 2016, the theme for World MS Day is ‘Independence’. It will explore how people with MS can be independent, acknowledging that independence can mean different things to different people.

MSIF provides a toolkit of free resources to help everyone to take part in World MS Day. Anyone can use these tools, or make their own, to create positive change in the lives of more than 2.3 million people around the world.

What is MS?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common neurological disorders and causes of disability in young adults.

There are 2.3 million people with MS worldwide. It is likely that hundreds of thousands more remain undiagnosed and many lives are affected indirectly, through caring for someone with MS.

Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 31, with around twice as many women diagnosed than men.

The cause of MS is not yet known and as yet there is no cure, though there are treatments available that can help some forms of MS and many things you can do to improve the symptoms.

The severity of the course of MS as well as the symptoms can vary widely among individuals.

The severity of the course of MS as well as the symptoms can vary widely among individuals. These can include blurred vision, weak limbs, tingling sensations, unsteadiness and fatigue.

For some people, MS is characterised by periods of relapse and remission (meaning it gets better for a while but then can attack from time to time), while for others it has a progressive pattern (meaning that it gets steadily worse with time). Some people may feel and seem healthy for many years following diagnosis, while others may be severely debilitated very quickly.

MS makes life unpredictable for everyone.

To find out more about MS, get in touch with an MS organisation near you or visit the MS International Federation website.

The World MS Day Working Group

The central campaign message and theme for World MS Day is developed by staff at the MS International Federation together with an international working group.   The working group is drawn from our network of MS organisations and currently has representatives from India, UK, Egypt, Ireland, Spain, and the USA.

Our supporters

The following organisations support World MS Day through their generous donations:

  • Biogen
  • EMD Serono (Merck Serono)
  • Novartis
  • Genzyme
  • Teva
  • Roche