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Be a Part of the 1st World MS Day - May 27, 2009

The U.S. National MS Society Joins More than 50 Countries Holding Events to Support This Global Initiative to Build Awareness for MS

NEW YORK, May 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The first coordinated global initiative to highlight the proliferation of multiple sclerosis (MS) is being launched on May 27. Organized by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) with the help of MS Societies in 54 countries, including the United States and Canada, the day will be marked by more than 160 events around the world in a concerted effort to build awareness for MS and enhance collaboration that will bring us closer to a world free of multiple sclerosis.

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The focus of World MS Day is on the needs of people with multiple sclerosis, the lack of capacity to diagnose and treat MS in many countries and the urgent need for more research to help eradicate the disease. It encourages people affected by MS worldwide to come together to take positive action in the MS movement by sharing their experiences, by donating time and funds to both support MS programs that will help people with MS move forward with their lives and spur MS research to end the disease, and to persuade legislative representatives to take steps that will ensure that people with MS everywhere can lead a life of possibility, dignity and fulfillment.

MS is found in every country in the world, and is one of the most common neurological diseases amongst people in their 20s and 30s. It is a prime of life disease striking just when people are building their careers and families. MS affects at least twice as many women as men and up to 60% of people diagnosed with MS will experience long-term disability. Though because of continuing medical breakthroughs, MS is now a treatable disease for the majority of people with are diagnosed, there is still no cure.

Some Highlights on World MS Day

Here in the United States:

The U.S. National MS Society will send an email action alert to over 850,000 individuals with affiliations to the Society asking recipients to tell Congress to fix health care now. With just two clicks all recipients can make their voices heard on the Hill.

The U.S. National MS Society will launch an educational partnership with MS Societies in Cuba and India.

Two women with MS -- Lori Schneider and Wendy Booker, have traveled to Mount Everest seeking to be the first individuals with MS to summit. Lori reached the summit on Friday 5/22. See: and

World MS Day offers everyone across the nation the opportunity to join the global MS movement and make their voices heard in support of a world free of multiple sclerosis. For easy tips, visit:

A Satellite Media tour will be held with country music star Clay Walker promoting a Society MS Learn Online program on Healthy Living with MS, sponsored by Teva Neuroscience.

A Satellite Media tour will be held introducing the results of the MS Viewpoints Survey on Understanding the Outlook of Emerging Therapies, sponsored by EMD Serono.

MyBrainGames developed by the MS Technology Collaborative, which includes the Society, Bayer HealthCare, and Microsoft, will preview the MyBrainGames created to address cognitive challenges in MS.

A Press Release will be globally distributed by Biogen Idec supporting the goals of World MS Day.

In Other Parts of the World:

The rock group U2 has lent support to the goals of World MS Day by donating the use of their song "Beautiful Day" as the anthem for the global campaign film which highlights the many different faces of MS.

MS Society of Palestine will open its first office.

In Belgium, Canada, France and Luxembourg, "Roll for MS" cycling and motorcycling events will be held.

In Ireland, eight people will climb six mountains in 72 hours.

In Mumbai and Delhi, India, human chains will be formed.

In Norway, a research conference will occur.

In Greece and Cyprus, concerts will be offered.

To Join the Global Movement to End MS and for further information on World MS Day and the events occurring to mark it, visit

"World MS Day is so important because it reinforces that MS is a global disease, which demands global awareness, a global movement and global action," said Joyce Nelson, President and CEO of the U.S. National MS Society. "There must also be quality and affordable healthcare to ensure that all people with MS can lead a life of possibility, dignity, and fulfillment," she adds.

World MS Day initiatives are occurring in the following countries:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, UK, Uruguay and USA.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The National MS Society addresses the challenges of each person affected by MS by funding cutting edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, collaborating with MS organizations around the world, and providing programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. In 2008 alone, through the national office and 50 state network of chapters, the Society devoted over $136 million to programs that enhanced more than one million lives. The Society also invested nearly $50 million to support 440 research projects around the world. To learn more about MS and the Society visit

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS.

MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S., and 2.1 million worldwide.

SOURCE The National Multiple Sclerosis Society
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