World MS Day 2019 highlights!
World MS Day 2019 was fantastic. We put MS in the spotlight and spoke loud and clear about the unseen impact of MS around the world. You made international news, organised incredible events and got social media buzzing about #MyInvisibleMS. Together we showed the world how engaged, international, and creative the global MS community can be. Thank you for all of your incredible support!
This year, there were over 400 events in 79 countries – and we’re still counting! Read on to see highlights from World MS Day 2019. You can also see a collection of photos across the globe in the World MS Day Facebook Album.
Action for change
World MS Day provides huge momentum for MS organisations to achieve positive changes to policies, practices and attitudes towards people affected by MS.
Here are just a few examples of how MS organisations used this year’s campaign to achieve ambitious advocacy goals.
The Northern Morocco Association of Multiple Sclerosis, HANA Multiple Sclerosis Patients Association and The Moroccan Association for People Affected by MS used World MS Day as a platform to collect signatures for their ‘Access to Treatment’ advocacy campaign.
Arfa MS Society in Saudi Arabia used the World MS Day toolkit on social media to appeal to their Ministry of Health for support and recognition. The Ministry of Health posted about the invisible symptoms of MS on Twitter.
The Deputy Minister for Health in Macedonia attended a World MS Day event organised by the National Association for MS in Macedonia. The Deputy Minister for Health pledged his support for people with MS in the Macedonian healthcare system.
The MS Association of Montenegro held a panel discussion with representatives from the Montenegrin Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, the EU and the legal system. The meeting looked at MS through the lens of gender equality.
The MS Chile Corporation used World MS Day to advance their access to treatment campaign. The Chilean Treasury have now agreed to offer state funding to help people with MS pay for expensive treatments.
Film, performance and art
We loved seeing everyone get creative with this year’s campaign. Check out these powerful examples of film, performance and art for MS around the world.
In São Paulo, Brazil, The Brazillian MS Association launched the documentary, ‘A Diary of Lidwina’ by Brazilian filmmaker Leanardo Gamber. This wonderful documentary is made up of a series of conversations with people with MS, their loved ones and doctors.
The Polish MS Society created a fantastic comic about the invisible symptoms of MS in the workplace. The story helps tackle misconceptions by raising awareness of the unseen impact of MS. The comic shows that there are many ways for employers and colleagues to support people with MS in the workplace.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
MS Associations across Bosnia and Herzegovina came together to host World MS Day photography exhibitions across 4 cities. The aim of the exhibition was to highlight the personal impact of MS and to improve access to treatments.
The global MS community celebrated World MS Day in solidarity. From sing-alongs in Peru and talks in Kenya, to conferences in China and meetings in Palestine: you gathered together to show your support. Thank you for coming together to mark the day!
The MS Society of Uruguay invited the public to ‘feel what I feel’ at their invisible symptom simulation tent. This interactive experience helped people understand some of the unseen challenges that people with MS face.
This year World MS Day had fantastic coverage. Together, we have reached hundreds of thousands of people around the world!
World MS Day made it onto the front page of the UK’s leading disability and lifestyle magazine, Enable. Enable shared the #MyInvisibleMS toolkit and asked their audience to share their invisible MS journey.
Lighting up the world
Famous landmarks across the world were illuminated in true World MS Day style.
Push it to the limit
You crossed the finish line, walked the extra mile and embraced the great outdoors for MS. Here are some of the top World MS Day challenges this year.
The Italian MS society created #FingerRun, a digital marathon to support scientific research on MS. The aim of the challenge is for players around the world to travel 42km in 12 hours by playing the game online. Players can participate in the race with hundreds of others whilst raising money for MS research.
The Ljubljana branch of the Slovenian MS Association organised an ‘MS Walk/Drive’. The Honorary patron of the event was President of the Republic. Participants and special guests were greeted by the President’s cabinet staff in front of the Presidential Palace and walked 1.6km to a Swiss cottage in the Ljubljana forest.
Research and education
Many of you used World MS Day 2019 to learn more about research and life with MS. Here are some memorable research and education highlights.
The Society of Lebanese Friends of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis partnered with the Lebanese Society of Neurology to host a Q&A session with MS doctors as well as a Life Coach seminar for people with MS.
The Dutch Stichting MS Research organised an informative day for people with MS regarding the state of MS Research in the Netherlands. Important part of the day was ‘meet the scientist’ where people with MS and MS Researchers shared their ideas and experiences.
The Israel MS Society organised a symposium and held seminars on life with MS. People affected by MS had the opportunity to meet with senior neurologists and healthcare professionals to discuss key issues around community care, treatment and rehabilitation.
American actress Selma Blair posted about World MS Day on Instagram. The Nobel Prize marked the day by posting about Physics Laureate, Michael Kosterlitz. Indian model and actor, Milind Soman shared a video message in support of World MS Day. Spanish singer song writer David Bisbal published an awareness raising message. Pakistani celebrity, Iman Aly, posted a selfie about her invisible MS symptoms and French actress Virginie Desarnauts (ARSEP Foundation ambassador) sent a video in support of #MyInvisibleMS. A big thank you to our famous friends who helped spread the message!
This year’s World MS Day has given us so much to be proud of. Your diverse approach to this year’s theme helped to make the campaign so vibrant and compelling. From research seminars and meetings with decision makers to fun get-togethers among communities of people affected by MS. As for online activities, it’s been fantastic to see so many people engaging with the #MyInvisibleMS toolkit. Thousands of you created your own poster with the new World MS Day poster maker tool. The My Invisible MS message has reached people affected by MS all over the world.
Thank you and congratulations everyone on a fantastic World MS Day 2019!