The global MS community says ‘Together we’re Stronger than MS’
This year more than 320 World MS Day events took place in 88 countries around the world.
These events help raise awareness of MS and the barriers faced by people affected by MS. They’re a great way to attract media attention and get decision makers to think about how they can help improve the lives of those affected by MS. They also provide an opportunity for people affected by MS to get together, to learn, to support each other and to have a good time.
Some people use World MS Day as a way to raise funds for research and services, while others use it to highlight a particular issue facing people with MS in their country. Some use it to share inspiring stories and others use it as an opportunity to bring researchers together. The events are diverse, but they all share a common aim – to make life better for people affected by MS.
The campaign was even bigger online. Thousands of people took part by sharing thank you messages on social media and by email. The World MS Day website was visited by people in 173 countries – that’s 88% of the countries in the world! The online campaign reached over 16.4 million people via Twitter, in English alone.
We asked some of the people who organised events to share their highlights and achievements from the day.
The South African MS Society organised a 5 kilometre walk. One lady, who has been in a wheelchair for over two years, trained for a year so that she could walk the last 100 metres. She walked across the finish line with thousands of spectators and participants cheering her on.
The Bahrain MS Patients Society held a day of workshops and information sessions for people with MS. It was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Health and human rights organisations, raising awareness of MS with decision makers and those outside of the MS community.
Christine from Wellington, New Zealand organised ‘Sing for MS’, a community sing-along, to celebrate breaking down the barriers to living with MS. The event was supported by the local council and attended by a mixture of local people with MS, friends, family and singers from Sing for Your Life groups. Her highlight was the happy faces and joy of singing together.
In Chennai, MS Society India organised a human chain of 400 people. Prominent buildings were lit up orange there were radio broadcasts about MS. They also set up a ‘brain lab’ to help treat MS patients with cognitive problems.
Hecho Con Amor in Peru organised a day for people with MS to enjoy. They also secured TV, radio and newspaper coverage to raise awareness of MS. They are now working with the Ministry of Health to create practical guides on living with MS.
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