In short, our mission is to improve the lives of people with MS.
The mission of the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation is to provide programs and support services to those persons affected by MS that help them maintain their health, safety, self-sufficiency, and personal well-being; and to heighten public awareness of multiple sclerosis in order to elicit financial support for the Foundation's programs and services and promote understanding for those diagnosed with the illness.
MS Focus: the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation was founded in 1986, at a time when no disease specific-treatments were available, with the intention of providing – through research and networking – information to people with MS about how to maintain their quality of life. As the organization grew, we noticed that many critical needs of those in the MS community were going unmet. Because of that, we shifted our focus to delivering services that directly benefit people with MS and their families, while continuing to offer the quality educational materials for which we were known. Today, MS Focus remains a leading source of accurate, unbiased information, and offers dozens of services that improve the lives of people with MS.
MS Focus provides grants to individuals with MS for much-needed services and devices. These may be directly related to their healthcare, such as funding for a neurologist visit for the uninsured, prescription co-pays, and physical, occupational, or speech therapy. Or they may be items that aid in adapting to changing circumstances, such as portable wheelchair ramps, hand controls for vehicles, or cooling aids for heat intolerance.
Also, in keeping with our founding principles, we provide educational materials, such as fact sheets and booklets, to those with MS and their care team. We sponsor educational programs throughout the country that people can attend in-person. Furthermore, we actively assist people with MS in maintaining wellness through such services as support groups, exercise classes, and lifestyle education.
To learn more about the services we offer Get Help
Our resources assist people who have MS, their families and caregivers, regional support groups, and healthcare professionals. Our programs and grants are available in the 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. Online resources, such as our educational materials or audio programs, are available throughout the world.
MS Focus neither sells memberships nor requires participation in fundraising activities by those we help or by affiliated support groups. All MS Focus services, as well as information, literature, and subscriptions to our publications are provided free of charge.
What separates MS Focus from other MS charity organizations is – first and foremost – that our sole focus is on people living with MS. While many other organizations work hard to fund research into a cure, we stand out as the organization devoted to helping families achieve the best lives possible until a cure is found. We do so with a uniquely personal approach. When a person calls MS Focus, the call is answered by a service coordinator or peer counselor who can answer questions, recommend services, or give helpful guidance. That's why other MS-related nonprofits refer thousands of their clients to MS Focus each year for our assistance.
Another unique aspect of MS Focus is the structure of our organization. With national headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., MS Focus serves the nation from one central location. By eliminating the need for branch offices, we are able to maintain a more cost-effective and efficient operation while maintaining the highest quality service. Networking with independent, grassroots organizations gives us a local presence in communities around the nation.
Since we were established in 1986, the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation has been funded by the public. Funds raised by the Foundation go directly toward services designed to improve the quality of life for people with MS. As a publicly funded 501(c)(3) organization, the Foundation follows established accounting procedures and is audited annually by an independent CPA firm.
Learn more by reviewing our Financial Statements.
Why is there a demand for these services?
MS has been called the second most expensive chronic disease. The unpredictable nature of the symptoms, the cost of treatment, and the progressive nature of the disease (which often adversely affects employment) all contribute to this growing problem. Often, there are gaps in available services through private health insurance, Medicare/Medicaid, or community agencies. These gaps are unfortunately common for people with MS because the disease most often affects adults between the ages of 20 - 40, whereas many services for the disabled are directed toward senior citizens or developmentally disabled youth.
Moreover, the number of people diagnosed with MS appears to be on the rise, and the demand for services exceeds the funds available. To offer your support for these vital programs Get Involved