22nd June 2020

2020 Highlights

2020-2022 MS Connections

We did it everyone! World MS Day 2020 was incredible. Together we championed community, self-care and better services for everyone affected by MS. You made headlines, organised amazing activities and made the MS heart an international symbol. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, we showed the world how connected the MS movement really is. We could not have imaged a better start to the three-year MS connections campaign!

Well done team! Here are some highlights so far. This is just a glimpse of all of the wonderful activities that happened right around the globe.

The MS community is so rich in creativity! You took to the stage, painted works of art and even brought puppets to life for MS.

Global

The ‘Tune in for MS’ event was a huge success! We were blown away by the international musicians who shared their talent with the MS community, and our fantastic host, Trishna Bharadia who is a UK MS Society Ambassador. The global MS choir captured hearts across the world with the most beautiful rendition of ‘Lean on me’. Bravo to everyone who took part!  

Japan

The Japan MS Society premiered the MS movie ‘A ray of hope’ and hosted a discussion on MS awareness in Japan. Over 400 people tuned in for the screenings!

Czech Republic

Unie ROSKA held an online music therapy session full of folk songs. Supporters used kitchen utensils as instruments. Together, they made music from wooden spoons, pots and pans.

Ecuador

The Fundación Ecuatoriana de EM (FUNDEM) held a ‘drawing your MS’ workshop with prizes for the best works.  

India

The MS Society of India created stunning mandalas in celebration of World MS Day. Colouring these intricate geometric designs can help to reduce anxiety and stress. People across the world fell in love with the idea, sharing their own mandalas in Egypt, Sweden, Argentina and further afield!

Russia

The Russian MS Society hosted a screening of an MS film featuring people with MS from Argentina, Italy, the USA and Russia, alongside a conference via Skype with national celebrities.

Puerto Rico

The Fundación de Esclerosis Múltiple de Puerto Rico Hosted and epic online concert with beloved national singers sharing their top hits.   

Romania

The Asociatia Pacientilor cu Afectiuni Neurodegenerative din Romania (APAN) created a stunning puppet animation on MS, community and self-love. APAN also launched an incredible arts contest on the theme of connection. See some of their top entries here.

A still from APAN’s fantastic MS Connections animation

Honduras

Fundación Esclerosis Múltiple Amor got us dancing with a virtual concert starring singer songwriter Karli Ortega.

Germany

The Deutsche Multiple Sklerose Gesellschaft Bundesverband invited supporters to get creative around the phrase ‘strong together’. All film, music, theatre and flash mob entries were encouraged. Learn more here.

Sharing MS stories is one of the most powerful ways to raise awareness.  Thank you for talking about your experiences with such beautiful honesty. Here are some story highlights.

Belgium

The Groupe Jeunes SEP created a fantastic video series called ‘La SEP & Moi’. Young people living with MS shared how they stay connected and the MS myths that make them cringe.

Morocco

MS organisations across Morocco banded together to share experiences and words of encouragement for the MS community. These uplifting messages on MS and resilience are so powerful! A huge thank you to HANA SEP, Association Marocaine des Malades Atteints de Sclérose en Plaques, NORD MA SEP and SEP SUD.

Moroccan organisations share uplifting messages on MS and resilience

Slovakia

The Slovenský Zväz Sclerosis Multiplex collected moving stories on MS during lockdown. Members shared moments that kept them connected from family time and cuddling pets to sewing facemasks.

Ukraine

The MS Society Ukraine created a cosmic storytelling hub sharing the dreams of people living with MS in their community.

New Zealand

The MS Society of New Zealand shared powerful video testimonies on MS stigma, communities and self.

Sam Smith from New Zealand talks about MS Stigma

The MS Heart was a global hit! Our World MS Day map is full of MS Hearts from Tunisia, Slovenia, France, US, Iran and Egypt and beyond. What a beautiful picture of solidarity.  Here are some of our favourite MS Heart snaps.

The National Association for MS in Macedonia created an MS Heart collage
The Penang MS Support Group Association show hearts for MS Connections
The Madinah health team in Saudi German Hospital use the MS Connections INSTA filter
Wonderful photos from the
Asociación Española de Esclerosis Múltiple in Spain
MS Hearts from the COMSC World MS Day makeup tutorial in Puerto Rico

Tunisia

Members of the Association Tunisienne des Malades de la Sclérose en Plaques spoke about #World MS Day on Télévision tunisienne. Great seeing the MS Connections toolkit on national TV!

Italy

The Associazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla had a whole day’s worth of #WorldMSDay coverage on TeleGenova on Saturday. The organisation raised awareness about MS and even hosted a special interview with Italian members of the global MS choir!

Slovenia

Združenje multiple skleroze Slovenije held a fantastic press conference advocating for better MS treatment Slovenia, and they made it onto prime time Slovenian TV!

Photos from the Združenje multiple skleroze Slovenije press conference in Slovenia 👏

Yemen

The Multiple Sclerosis Patients Society in Aden got #MSConnections into national newspapers.

World MS Day is an opportune moment to advocate for change. Here are some decision makers who stood in solidarity with the MS community on World MS Day. 

Australia

MS Australia lobbied Parliament in the run-up to World MS Day with great success. The Prime Minister of Australia sent a video in support of #MSConnections and senators sponsored a motion in recognition of the MS community.

The Hon Scott Morrison MP speaks on his family connection to MS and access to treatment in Australia

Brazil

Federal Senator and former footballer ‘Romário’, posted about World MS Day on social media.  

Canada

Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada tweeted in support of World MS Day and the MS Society of Canada.

Spain  

Esclerosis Múltiple España reached decision makers across the country. The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, tweeted in support of the big day. Jesús Celada, the General Director of Disability Policy, shared an MS Connections video. The President of the Senate, Pilar Llop Cuenca shared an #MSConnections GIF in solidarity.

Skylines were illuminated across the globe as iconic buildings shone bright for World MS Day.

Greece

Famous buildings were coloured orange for MS in Athens, Thessaloniki, Kilkis, Florina, Corfu, Karditsa, Trikala and Tripoli. A fantastic sight thanks to the Greek MS Society and the Hellenic Federation of Persons with Multiple Sclerosis!

Serbia

Belgrade was illuminated orange for World MS Day! City bridges shone bright for MS alongside the Avala tower, Parliament, and more. Thank you MS platforma Srbije!

Canada

The Canadian MS Society took World MS Day to the streets, lighting up iconic buildings like Roundhouse Park in Toronto, Vancouver’s BC Place stadium, Science World and more.

Vancouver’s Science World shines bright for MS

Mexico

Monuments glowed with a brilliant orange in Mexico city thanks to the Unidos Combatiendo la Esclerosis Múltiple.

Social distancing did not stop you getting active for World MS Day! You took up all kinds of virtual challenges for MS.  

Ireland

The MS Society of Ireland held a virtual balloon race to raise funds for people living with MS in Ireland. The virtual balloons were subject to actual weather conditions -talk about being tech savvy!

Colombia

The Asociación para la Lucha contra la EM got stretching for World MS Day in a virtual yoga class.  The theme was self-connection and all abilities were welcome.

Lebanon

Amis Libanais des Sclerosis En Plaques (ALSEP) hosted live cooking tutorials, exercise classes and creative competitions for MS. These dynamic workshops were hosted by national celebrities and well-being experts. 

ALSEP hosts live event with dietician Nicole Maftoum and fashion designer Cherine Khadra who lives with MS.

Peru

BINGO! The Esclerosis Multiple Peru tried their luck with an online bingo game for people with MS and their carers.

Global

Thousands of people across the world took part in the virtual fitness challenge, the May 50K. Over 13,000 participants helped fundraise over £700,000 for MS research by walking or running 50 kilometres throughout the month of May.

Croatia

MS TIM Hrvatska went the extra mile with their virtual #MSwalk2020 challenge. Each step was recorded and photographed on behalf of the MS community in Croatia!

Brasil

Associação Brasileira de Esclerose organised an immense week of World MS Day activity. Participants attended workshops on access, sexuality and MS, even live samba!

Egypt

MS Care Egypt live-streamed an event with supportive messages from board members, top neurologists and even a little music!

Indian actress Mandira Bedi shared a video in support of World MS Day. Spanish footballer David López shared an MS Heart on behalf of RCD Espanyol. Lebanese Cherine Khadra hosted and shared her experience of MS in ALSEP’s interactive workshops. Ecuadorian singer Pamela Cortés posted about the MS Connections campaign on social media. Cuban singer-songwriter Pablo Milanés sang during the Tune in for MS concert. Top gamers YogsCast, MissMousieMouse, NickEh30, BrookeAB and Swiftor took part in a World MS Day Twitch fundraiser. Canadian rock band ‘The Bishops Green’ posted in solidarity of the MS Community. The Nobel Prize celebrated the day with a post on Physics Laureate, Michael Kosterlitz.

MS Heart from David López

We learnt so much from World MS Day 2020. You hosted fantastic workshops on healthy living, access to treatment and much more.

Costa Rica

The Asociación Costarricense de Esclerosis Múltiple championed self-care with an interactive online series on mental health, healthy living and home exercise.

Sudan

The MS Society organised an online seminar, providing a platform for people with MS to talk about their everyday challenges and national barriers to quality care. 

Poland

Polskie Towarzystwo Stwardnienia Rozsianego created a fantastic video series with guest neurologists, psychologists and more. Viewers learned about mindfulness against loneliness and the importance of connected communities for quality care.

Mindfulness tips from Polish psychologist Edyta

Finland

Neuroliitto ran an online MS workshop on peer networks, working life and accessing support and health services.  

Argentina

Esclerosis Múltiple Argentina and the Asociación de Lucha Contra la EM hosted a series of live workshops on healthy living, emotional wellbeing, creative expression and more.  

Netherlands

Stichting MS Research invited supports to sit down for a virtual coffee with their deputy director to chat through all things MS and research. 

China

MS Home in Beijing hosted a week of online MS workshops for people with MS and their families. Participants got the chance to speak with other people affected by MS and top neurologists.

If you would like to feature a World MS Day activity on this page, you can email [email protected].

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