Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease that involves the central nervous system. The immune system attacks the protective covering around nerves, causing a disruption of communication between the brain and body.
MS doesn’t have a cure, but treatment helps many people achieve remission and relief from symptoms like fatigue and pain. Medication and physical therapy can reduce persistent symptoms and slow disease progression.
While almost 1 million adults in the United States live with MS, many people don’t understand the complexity of this unpredictable disease.
MS Awareness Month, which takes place in March, aims to change this and provide support to those living with the condition.
MS Awareness Month takes place every March, and the goal of this campaign is to raise awareness about MS.
Throughout the month of March, several organizations, societies, and advocacy groups will host educational events and activities to bring attention to this condition.
MS Awareness Month can benefit people living with MS, along with their families and communities. Anyone can show their support by participating in various events, such as fundraisers for MS research.
This month is also an opportunity for the family and friends of people with MS to gain an accurate, better understanding of the disease.
MS affects everyone differently. Some may experience mild symptoms, whereas others have severe symptoms that limit mobility. MS Awareness Month brings awareness to the condition’s many forms.
In addition to this month-long awareness campaign, other days throughout the year also focus on MS. For example, Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week is from March 7th to 13th in 2021. There is also World MS Day, which takes place on May 30th every year. Both offer additional opportunities to get involved in the MS awareness movement.
Knowing about MS Awareness Month is a good start, but there are many ways to get involved. It only takes a couple of minutes to spread the word. You can also participate in an event held throughout your city or state.
1. Sign up for an MS Walk
A fundraising walk is one way to get involved in your local community. Walks are held throughout the year for various organizations to bring awareness to specific diseases. These events involve walking a designated course, such as a 5K.
You can walk to celebrate and honor a friend or loved one living with MS, or join a walk if you have MS yourself. Meeting others in the community who are living with the same condition may help you feel less alone.
You can pay a flat fee to participate in these events, with the money going toward finding a cure for MS.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has information about upcoming walks throughout the country. This year, due to COVID-19, the events will be virtual.
Some cities also hold MS bike events. Instead of walking to raise funds, you’ll bike a designated course.
2. Educational events
You can also show support by learning more about MS, whether you live with it or not. If you have a loved one with the condition, education can help you empathize with them. You can also learn ways to provide practical assistance.
To stay informed, you can attend live MS webinars or other virtual events during March. You can also read books, blogs, and articles related to MS, or listen to an MS podcast.
Consider participating in MS State Action Day each year, too. These days vary throughout the year depending on location. This is an opportunity to become an activist and urge your state lawmakers to support policies that accommodate people with MS.
3. Share your story
If you’re living with MS, consider sharing your personal story with others. This can be in person or online, such as your favorite social media platform.
Doing so provides an outlet to express yourself and connect with others living with MS. Your voice and story might inspire someone to maintain a positive outlook.
4. Make a donation
Another way to participate in MS Awareness Month is to make a monetary donation to an organization that goes toward MS research. You can make a one-time donation, or set up a recurring monthly payment. For example, The National MS Society has several different donation options.
5. Spread the word on social media
Whether you use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or another social media platform, make use of hashtags that bring awareness to MS. This can spark conversation within your network, and encourage others to share hashtags, too. For example, tag your posts with #MultipleSclerosisAwarenessMonth or #MSAwareness.
You can also add a custom frame to your Facebook profile picture for MS Awareness Month, or update your cover art accordingly.
The color orange represents MS awareness. Another simple way to spread awareness about MS is to wear this color throughout March. This can include an orange t-shirt, an orange rubber wristband, an orange ribbon, or an orange lapel pin.
There are a few other conditions associated with the color orange, too. Orange awareness ribbons are also worn for leukemia, kidney cancer, and lupus.
If you have MS, educating yourself can help you cope with the disease. And if you don’t have MS, learning more can help you understand how a loved one feels. Getting involved during MS Awareness Month every March can raise awareness for this condition, and help lead to a cure.