16th May 2018

World MS Day activities across the globe

2018 Bringing Us Closer
Every year, the global MS community shows huge creativity and energy in hosting a wide range of World MS Day activities, from lighting up major landmarks to campaigning for positive change.

This year is no exception!

Discover some of the exciting events taking place all over the world for World MS Day.

Shine a light

Raising awareness of MS is a top priority for people affected by MS around the world. Many MS organisations are building on successful awareness-raising activities from previous years, including the Japan MS Society, which will continue its tradition of distributing 6,000 leaflets in Tokyo for World MS Day.

One activity that grows stronger every year is the lighting up of major landmarks to raise awareness on World MS Day. Multiple Sclerosis Uruguay (EMUR) is among a number of MS organisations making a big, bold statement about MS by lighting up prominent buildings in orange. Over the past two years, EMUR has established a tradition of lighting up buildings in the centre of Montevideo – most notably, the Legislative Palace. This year, they will also light up City Hall and three other zones of the city, bringing a burst of colour to people across the capital. EMUR’s Paysandú chapter, meanwhile, will illuminate the statue of national hero Jose Artigas.

Uruguay is not alone; the MS Chile Corporation is planning its own ‘IluminEMos Chile’ campaign this year to illuminate the municipality of Concepción in orange on World MS Day. As evening falls and the orange lights begin to glow, supporters will gather in the Plaza de Armas to share information about MS, highlighting the need for greater coverage of MS and greater availability of MS treatments. The organisation is even calling on other Latin American MS organisations to light up their countries’ buildings too – yet another fantastic example of how World MS Day is #bringinguscloser as a global MS community.

Over in India, the Chennai chapter of the MS Society of India has come up with a creative way to mark its 21st anniversary. The team will light up 21 buildings across Chennai – one for every year of its fantastic work to support people affected by MS.

Bringing us closer

Many MS organisations are holding events in line with this year’s theme of research, giving all those who are curious about MS research an opportunity to meet people involved and learn more about progress in the field. The Vienna chapter of the MS Society of Austria will be holding an open day for people to meet experts working in MS psychotherapy and counselling, whilst a University hospital in Colombia will invite the public to learn about MS and how it affects different aspects of daily life.

MS Ireland, meanwhile, will bring MS researchers in Ireland together to explore ways to improve the country’s MS research landscape. All of these events are bringing MS researchers together and bringing people affected by MS closer to MS research.

Rock ‘n’ roll

Every year, World MS Day is brought to life with music and dance. Many MS organisations are putting music at the heart of their events, including a ‘Rock for MS’ concert in the US, a Beirut concert hosted by the Lebanese Association Against MS and an evening of music and games organised by the MS Society of India. In Barcelona, Spain, an array of musicians will be performing in order to raise funds for MS research. If you’re in the Czech Republic, you can even join a musical cruise down the Vltava River – a memorable way to mark World MS Day!

Campaign for change

World MS Day is a fantastic opportunity for MS organisations to campaign for positive changes to improve quality of life with MS. For the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Trinidad and Tobago, the lack of access to MS treatment options for people with MS is a major priority and it’s inspired the team to partner with local doctors, the public health service and the pharmaceutical industry to increase treatment options available. For the #bringinguscloser campaign, the Society will take to social media and the national press to highlight developments in MS care and to attract support for its vital work.

Helen Mulloon, a representative of the organisation, said, ‘World MS Day is an opportunity to highlight a challenging condition that is little-known locally, but which affects hundreds of families in our country’.

Take action!

All of these events are wonderful examples of the strength and creativity of the global MS community. Creating an event or participating in an event can be a brilliant way to get to know your MS community – or even create a new one. It’s a fantastic way to raise awareness of MS, bring people together and – importantly – to have fun. Find your way to mark World MS Day!

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