Members of the media play a vital role in raising awareness about multiple sclerosis, and giving those affected by MS information about issues affecting their lives. At MS Focus, we recognize the importance of providing information to members of the media in a timely fashion.
In this section, we provide:
We can assist in connecting reporters to people who can contribute to well-told, informative stories – including medical experts, our executive staff, and people living with MS. For assistance, members of the media are encouraged to contact:
Director of Operations and Communications
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, neurological disease, typically progressive in nature, that affects the central nervous system. In MS, the immune system mistakenly attacks myelin (the fatty insulation around nerve fibers) causing damage to axons and leaving lesions (scarring) that interfere with the transmission of signals from the brain to the body.
While most individuals have a relapsing form of the condition, characterized by 'flare-ups' of disease activity and slow progression (worsening) over time, about ten percent have a chronically progressive form of the disease, in which the condition advances more quickly.
The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, known in the MS community as MS Focus, is a publicly-funded nonprofit organization headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., serving the United States and Puerto Rico.
The mission of Multiple Sclerosis Foundation is to provide programs and support services to those persons affected by MS that help them maintain 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.
Learn More About Our Mission
Support for MS Focus comes primarily from individual donations and pledges, but also from corporate grants, fundraisers, and charitable bequests. The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation does not receive government support.
All our programs and services are provided free of charge.
Rising MS Drug Costs
The average cost for of medication used to slow the progression of MS is more than $2,000 a month without insurance, with some treatments costing as much as $7,000 a month. A 2015 study showed that the costs of MS drugs have skyrocketed in recent years, well beyond inflation.
From a machine that uses an electric pulse to help people walk, to a tiny dot that attaches to the forehead and allows paraplegics to surf the internet, new technology helps people with MS to maintain independence and/or employment.
Parenting with a Chronic Condition
Most people diagnosed with MS, and many other autoimmune diseases, are between the ages of 20 and 40. In addition to the normal challenges that starting or raising a family entail, these men and women struggle to explain a complicated illness to their children, as well as care for their families in the face of their own disabilities.
MS symptoms are unpredictable. For some, the symptoms come and go on a daily, or even hourly, basis. Many of these symptoms are not visible, which can lead to friends, family members and employers mistakenly labeling the person with MS as lazy or unmotivated.
The Wait for Disability Benefits
When many of the symptoms of a disease are invisible, or come and go, the process of acquiring disability benefits becomes more challenging. Many people with MS who can no longer work due to cognitive problems or other difficulties frequently wait two years — and endure more than one denial — before getting the benefits they need.
Your Local MS Heroes
Around the country, many people are giving their time and talents to help the MS community. They are setting up donor closets, forming support groups, and lobbying for legislation. In addition, MS Focus has specially-trained Ambassadors, stationed around the country, promoting a campaign of MS awareness and education. Contact us to see who in your community you might profile for your publication.
MS Diagnosis Dilemma
Many people with MS spend years suffering from MS symptoms without getting a diagnosis. This could happen for various reasons: many of the common symptoms are also present in other diseases, the symptoms can come and go, and not all doctors are thoroughly familiar with MS. It has been proven that early diagnosis and treatment can slow disease progression, making it more important than ever that MS gets diagnosed correctly and quickly.