Secure income and employment, improved access, and investment in health research among priorities
TORONTO, April 25, 2019 /CNW/ - From April 29 to May 1, representatives from the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada will be on Parliament Hill in Ottawa to meet with parliamentarians to mark the beginning of MS Awareness Month (May). The MS Society aims to support people living with and affected by MS by urging the government to act now to improve #LifeWithMS. With more than 80 meetings scheduled, members of the MS community will share their stories to move members of parliament to take action to help the tens of thousands of Canadians living with MS.
Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world, with 11 Canadians diagnosed every day. The disease affects not only those diagnosed, but their family, friends as well as members of the larger community, making it an area of focus for all Canadians.
Key priorities for discussion include employment security (flexible and inclusive workplaces), income security (improving income and disability support programs), access (increased accessibility and access to treatments) and accelerating research (investment in health research and support for the health research ecosystem).
"Canadians living with MS should have access to resources and support that empower them to live life to the fullest. Our advocacy priorities reflect this," says Dr. Pamela Valentine, president and CEO, MS Society of Canada. "We've made great strides towards our goals but there is still much more to do. The opportunity to share the personal and profound stories of Canadians living with and affected by MS with parliamentarians is one of the ways the MS Society supports their daily acts of greatness and seeks to affect change."
"Without MS research, I am not sure I would be here today," says Jennifer Molson, diagnosed with MS 23 years ago. "The Canadian Bone Marrow Transplantation Trial funded by the MS Society gave me new life. After being diagnosed with MS, I was at a point where I needed help walking and feeding myself. Being a part of this ground-breaking research, here I am – walking, skiing, kayaking – independent, working full time, and married after having danced at my wedding. I am proof that investing in health research brings us closer to a world free of MS."
Parliamentarians are invited to a reception on Monday, April 29 to learn more about innovative and exciting research that can help improve #LifeWithMS.
The annual Carnation Pinning Ceremony will take place at 1pm on Wednesday, May 1, in the House of Commons foyer. MS Society representatives, members of the MS community and party representatives the Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry, (Vancouver Centre), Mr. Kerry Diotte, (Edmonton Griesbach), and Ms. Brigitte Sansoucy, (Saint-Hyacinthe – Bagot) will present carnations as a symbol of solidarity with Canadians affected by MS. MPs involved in the ceremony will present members' statements calling for support for the cause from fellow parliamentarians.
In observance of MS Awareness Month, the MS Society will highlight the MS cause and continue to share the stories of the many Canadians touched by this disease throughout the month of May.
About multiple sclerosis and the MS Society of Canada
Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world with 11 Canadians diagnosed with MS every day. MS is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system comprising the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 49 and the unpredictable effects of the disease last for the rest of their lives. The MS Society provides programs and services for people with MS and their families, advocates for those living with MS, and funds research to help improve the quality of life for people living with MS and to ultimately find a cure for this disease. Please visit mssociety.ca or call 1-800-268-7582 to make a donation or for more information.
SOURCE Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
For further information: Jennifer Asselin, MS Society of Canada, 1-800-268-7582 ext. 3144, [email protected]