6th August 2021

2021 Highlights

2020-2022 MS Connections

It’s time for a big round of applause! Together we made World MS Day 2021 a year to remember. You rallied support, made front page news and ran the extra mile (literally). We championed community, self-care and better services for everyone affected by MS. Here are some of our highlights.

What a busy campaign period! Thank you for thinking outside the box and encouraging supporters to move, connect and act for MS.

Serbia

‎Ever campaigned by motorbike? MS Platform Serbia organised a motorcycle ride across Belgrade to raise awareness on World MS Day. We love the thought of leather-clad bikers handing MS leaflets to passers-by.

Serbia’s bikers for MS

Ireland

Up, up, up and away! Back by popular demand, MS Ireland held another virtual balloon race. Unlike a traditional balloon race, this fundraiser was 100% environmentally friendly. The digital balloons were simulated with live weather conditions using computer modelling.

Greece

The Greek MS Society pushed boundaries with an innovative self-care workshop combining meditation, physical theatre and kinesiology. Participants used imaginative movements to connect with their body and release creativity.

China

MS Connections was live in China with a televised awareness event in Beijing and an online portrait exhibition featuring people with MS. 谢谢 (thank you) to the Illness Challenge Foundation!

Russia

The Russian MS Society in Moscow enjoyed a week of creative workshops including art therapy, rehabilitation, yoga and cooking. The grand finale was an orange flash mob across the city, with supporters covering city landmarks in orange ribbons.

Iceland

The MS-félag Íslands ran a game of online Bingo for all the family. Players took their chances to win top prizes, from hotel stays to mini-golf games – BINGO!

Bingo in Iceland

Spain

Zumba, inclusive golf, cooking tutorials, photography and more. The Asociación Española de Esclerosis Múltiple (AEDEM) organised a fun jam-packed agenda for World MS Day.

Meanwhile, Esclerosis Múltiple España (EME) encouraged members to champion quality care by thanking the healthcare workers supporting them. Check out EME’s activity map to see more virtual events, exhibitions and workshops across the country.

Denmark

The Scleroseforeningen organised a novel World MS Day challenge using new data from the Atlas of MS. The Atlas shows us that someone is diagnosed with MS every five minutes – that’s 288 people per day. Scleroseforeningen challenged supporters to do something (anything!) 288 times to raise awareness and funds for MS.

Switzerland

Ever wondered what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes? Lattmann and Launa both live with MS but their backstories are completely different. Experience the world through their eyes in this World MS Day blog series from the Société suisse de la sclérose en plaques.

Finland

Neuroliitto Finland ran an impressive schedule of World MS Day events, including brain health lectures, virtual coffee and live Instagram hang-outs. We especially loved their ‘peer- to-peer’ video series, where people shared personal experiences of MS in the workplace.

Germany

Digital zoo visits, virtual hugs, YouTube lives and so much more. The Deutsche Multiple Sklerose Gesellschaft Bundesverband went all out this World MS Day, running activities across all 16 federal states in Germany.

Brazil

The Associação Brasileira de Esclerose Múltipla took MS Connections to the streets – we are talking bus stops, public squares and airports. Look how good the MS Connections toolkit looks in Brasília International Airport!

Lebanon

The Amis Libanais des Scleroses En Plaques (ALSEP) shared stories of hope and resilience from people with MS and celebrated the power of community.

Global

Time for a victory lap – The May 50K fundraisers have raised £1.25 million this year! Over 11,000 people across the world ran, walked and cycled 50 kilometres in May for MS. The money raised funds global research, targeting prevention, better treatments and a cure for MS.

Getting creative

The MS community has a flare for drawing, film, music and… pretty much everything else. Thank you for sharing your talent this World MS Day!

Global

Tune in for MS 2021 took the world by storm. Thousands tuned in from more than 50 countries to support the live event. There was Flamenco dancing, Bhangra music, street art and more. We will never forget the incredible rendition of ‘Beautiful Day’ by the Global MS Choir. A huge thank you to our spectacular performers and speakers!

Japan

The Japan MS Society released a World MS Day song! ‘The White Light’ is a hopeful ballad, raising awareness of MS and celebrating the power of community.

Peru

The Asociación Esclerosis Múltiple Perú belted out classic tunes with a karaoke reunion. You know we love a World MS Day sing-a-long!

Sudan

Don’t miss this beautiful acoustic number for people with MS from the Sudanese Association for MS Patients!

Australia

MS Australia created a beautiful animation in collaboration with the MS community down under. ‘Connecting with family and friends’ explores the benefits of human connection and the impacts of social isolation and loneliness on people living with MS.

Italy

Italian tenor, Marco Voleri, gave a stunning performance in the Basilica of Sant’Anselmo in Rome. The concert raised funds for the Associazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla’s MS research program.

Chile

The Corporación Esclerosis Múltiple Chile held an art therapy webinar. Participants used whatever materials they had at home and all levels were welcome.

Global

Hundreds of you made your own campaign art using the MS Connections poster maker. View some of our favourites in the campaign gallery and try making your own.

MS Hearts

We certainly felt the love with all your MS hearts. You connected your hands together in solidarity all over the world. Here are some memories to warm your heart!

Austria

The Österreichische Multiple Sklerose Gesellschaft invited people with MS, artists and politicians to share MS their MS Hearts. It’s so encouraging to see so many people take part!

Macedonia

MS Heart collages from the National Association for MS in Macedonia. What a beautiful picture of solidarity!

Curaçao

Check out this box of World MS Day delights. Stichting Multiple Sclerose Curaçao snacked on these sweet treats whilst singing along to the Global MS Choir. The MS Heart never looked so delicious!

Greece

Nothing like an MS Heart montage to lift your spirits! Shout out to the Greek MS Society.

Global

We loved seeing the MS Heart pop up with the MS Connections poster maker and Instagram filter! Check out these beauties from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Morocco and beyond!

News coverage

Ghana makes its World MS Day debut on air

World MS Day made headlines in Yemen, Curaçao, Jamaica, Slovakia, Trinidad & Tobago and further afield. The Tehran Times ran a piece on World MS Day in Iran. A paper from the UAE shared a powerful personal interview on MS misconceptions. Elle France published an article on MS in illustrations. Forbes magazine even released an item on robotic exoskeletons and MS. Ghana participated for the first time in World MS Day history with this ground-breaking broadcast raising public awareness of MS. Oh and don’t miss these action shots from the MS Association of Slovenia’s press conference. Together, we spread the MS connections campaign far and wide!

The MS Association Slovenia host a national press conference

Engaging decision makers

Influencing world leaders and decision makers right across the globe.

Italy

None other than Pope Francesco acknowledged World MS Day at his Sunday blessing from the Vatican City. This special moment was the result of excellent advocacy work from the Associazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla (AISM).

The AISM team standing in St. Peter’s Square to hear this special blessing

Cyprus

The Cyprus Multiple Sclerosis Association laced up their waking boots and organised a long hike for the local MS community. Representatives from Cyprus’s Ministry of Health were invited to trek with volunteers in support of the local MS community.

Australia

MS Australia presented an MS Research and Advocacy update at Parliament House with the campaign group Parliamentary Friends of MS. The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also shared a personal video in support of World MS day. Talk about campaign wins!

Tunisia

The Tunisian Minister of Social Affairs presented at a World MS Day event run by Association Tunisienne des Malades de la Sclérose en Plaques (ATSEP).

Panama

The National Assembly of Panama commemorated World MS Day on social media with a video all about MS and its symptoms.

Puerto Rico

The House of Representatives of Puerto Rico proudly supported World MS Day by wearing orange face masks in session on 25 May. Kudos to the Community Organization of MS and Cancer for their lobbying work.

United Kingdom

Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, shared a message in support of the MS Connections campaign at Tune in for MS 2021.

Lighting up the world

Cities shone bright for MS this World MS Day.

Malta

The MS Society of Malta illuminated their Prime Minister’s Office in the Auberge de Castille for three days running.

Canada

Skylines glowed red across Canada thanks to the MS Society of Canada. Look at these stunning shots of Vancouver at night.

Serbia

Monuments and bridges across Belgrade glowed a brilliant orange.

Argentina

This video from the Asociación de Lucha Contra la EM pays homage to all the monuments lit up across Argentina this World MS Day.

Greece

See the Omonoia fountain bathed in beautiful light over downtown Athens thanks to the Hellenic Federation of Persons with MS.

Famous friends

Selma Blair posts on World MS Day

Actor Selma Blair shared a ballet video celebrating her MS recovery process. Her message was simple: ‘On World MS Day claim all your gains’. Award-winning rock legend, Andrés Calamaro, sent his wishes to Asociación Costarricense de Esclerosis Múltiple and the wider MS community. Australian Emily Petricola took a moment away from training for the upcoming Paralympics in Tokyo to share her MS story. Greek Olympian Spyros Gianniotis shared a message in support of the MS community. Indian actor Prateik Babbar encouraged people with MS to find their MS Connections. Twin Olympic speed skaters Ronald and Michel Mulder shared their experience of MS as ambassadors of Stichting MS Research in the Netherlands. Honduran singer Karli Ortega Musica posted a video about her MS journey. Spanish basketball player, Asier de la Iglesia, posted a letter to MS on Instagram.

Indian actor Prateik Babbar encouraged people with MS to find their MS Connections

Research and education

World MS Day is a brilliant opportunity to learn more about MS. You held MS research seminars, symptom workshops and Q&As with healthcare professionals all over the world. Here are some top learning moments.

Egypt

MS Care Egypt’s World MS Day conference packed a punch with informative sessions on treatment access, physiotherapy and managing MS during the pandemic.

Uruguay

Esclerosis Múltiple Uruguay (EMUR) organised a calendar of virtual seminars. Neurologists, psychologists and nutritionists gave MS workshops on stress, wellbeing and sleep disorders. EMUR also launched their brand new tool, the Brujula EMuy or ‘Compass of MS’.

Colombia

The Asociación para la Lucha contra la EM (ALEM) dove into a range of topics with a month of educational workshops. There were MS seminars on pregnancy, challenges in the workplace and sexual health.

Sweden

Neuroforbundet released research on MS and fatigue, looking at the impact of strength training. Young people with MS connected to the organisation also held a panel discussion on MS symptoms affecting the bladder and intestines.

India

The MS Society of India (MSSI) launched their guide for MS caregivers, celebrating carers and offering practical guidance for supporting someone with MS. MSSI’s animation on ‘Ways to thank your caregiver’ is well worth the watch!

France

Where to begin? The Ligue Française Contre La Sclérose En Plaques and the Association Sep’Avenir held a two-day marathon of educational events. Motherhood and MS, cognitive disorder and workplace rights were just some of the topics addressed. There was also a fantastic video series sharing real stories from people with MS.


Meanwhile l’Aide à la Recherche sur la Sclérose En Plaques gave a research update on therapeutic advances in MS, including the latest approaches to myelin repair.

Belgium

MS-Liga Vlaanderen created a webinar series centred around resilience and patient empowerment.

MS-Liga Vlaanderen ran a MS webinar series

Costa Rica

The Asociación Costarricense de Esclerosis Múltiple gave food for thought in a seminar exploring diet and MS.

El Salvador

Rise and shine! The Asociación Salvadoreña pro Enfermedades Neuromusculares hosted a breakfast conference on the signs of disability progression.

Latvia

The Latvijas Multiplās Sklerozes Asociācija organised a Q&A with MS doctors for people affected by MS.

Morocco

HANA Multiple Sclerosis Patients Association (HANASEP) ran a web conference on a range of topics from mental health and anxiety, to medical aids and treatments.

Argentina

Esclerosis Múltiple Argentina (EMA) held a virtual conference on rehabilitation, research and everything in-between. More than 800 people across the country participated.

Czech Republic

The Unie Roska held a successful week of MS webinars, covering symptom management, self-care and more.

This is a mere glimpse of the fantastic events that took place. Help us capture more highlights by completing the World MS Day 2021 evaluation survey.

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