Celebrate World Multiple Sclerosis Day with Maple
Join the multiple sclerosis community on Monday May 30th to celebrate Multiple Sclerosis Day!
May 30th is an officially dedicated day to celebrate global solidarity and hope in the continued fight and research surrounding multiple sclerosis. Dedicating this day to MS brings the MS community together to share stories, raise awareness and campaign for everyone affected by multiple sclerosis.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system that affects more than 25,000 Australians. Although there is currently no cure, there is a lot we can do to raise awareness around the disease and by celebrating World Multiple Sclerosis Day with us, you can too!
However gradual it sometimes presents, multiple sclerosis can be a debilitating illness that limits a person’s ability to participate in everyday activities. It can be unpredictable and challenging for those living with it as well as their loved ones. People with MS deserve to be celebrated, recognised, and advocated for.
How will you be celebrating World Multiple Sclerosis Day?
Why is World Multiple Sclerosis Day Celebrated?
May 30th is dedicated to raising awareness around Multiple Sclerosis. Boosting awareness and connecting those with MS and their loved ones to resources, communities and information is imperative to improve their support systems.
Multiple sclerosis is one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system across the globe. 2.8 million people worldwide are living with the condition, with almost two thirds of that statistic being women. The term multiple sclerosis translates to “many scars” which refers to the lesions left behind on the brain and spinal cord after the myelin covering the nerves is damaged or dies. MS is often diagnosed with an MRI scan which identifies these lesions once symptoms have started.
The cause of MS is still currently unknown and there is no cure for the progressive illness. However, treatments continue to advance which help to slow the progression of MS and help to reduce the symptoms associated with it. As history has shown, education, research and funding is key to a better understanding, further breakthroughs, preferable treatments and possible cures for people with MS as well as other debilitating illnesses.
You may find campaigns and events happening across the whole of May and leading into June to spread information and advocate for more awareness and research surrounding this condition.
How to Celebrate World Multiple Sclerosis Day
Dedicating a day to a serious condition such as MS on an annual basis gives us the opportunity to shine a light on it and advocate for better understanding.
There are many things you can do and take part in on World Multiple Sclerosis Day:
Talk about it
Talking about motor neurone disease plays a huge part in increasing awareness and promoting earlier diagnoses. Bring up the subject with family, friends, or co-workers and share facts that you have learned in your journey. You could also include it in your email signature or share information on your social media.
Share your story
Sharing our stories is one of the best ways to reduce stigma and create a better world of understanding. Although it can make us vulnerable, it can also generate support. You don’t have to do it on May 30th or during the month of May but you may find it a good time to start. If public speaking isn’t for you, you could reach out to a local publication or a reputable blog where you can share your story.
Join events or fundraisers
Celebrate and advocate by joining events or fundraisers. Look for events near you to join or volunteer with or create one yourself. This could simply be a get together for like minded people willing to learn and share stories, or elaborate events aimed at raising money for the cause. Reach out to local health associations and multiple sclerosis organisations to find out if they have any events happening.
Support groups can be a great way to connect with others and generate a support network of people who understand what you’re going through. Everyone’s experience will be unique, but it’s important to receive assurance that you are not alone. There is a lot of power in sharing your story and hearing others’ perspectives.
When advocating for MS, especially on social media, you can use the hashtag #MSConnections to support the MS movement and connect with others in the community. The campaign tagline is ‘I Connect, We Connect’. MS Connections challenges social barriers that may leave people with MS feeling lonely and isolated.
The MS Heart is a symbol of solidarity with everyone affected by MS and is inspired by the sign language symbol for the word ‘together’. Morph your hands with someone else’s into this symbol to create the MS heart. Getting the word out there and encouraging conversations around MS to advocate for change and the importance of quality care.
Throughout May and June you may see orange ribbons adorned with a butterfly. Orange is the official colour of MS awareness and the symbol of a butterfly has been associated with multiple sclerosis as it is the shape commonly seen on a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of a brain of someone with MS.
Events for Multiple Sclerosis Day
The theme for World MS Day between 2020 and 2023 is ‘connections’. The MS connections campaign aims to build community connections, self connection and connections to quality care for all involved.
Accessible Outdoor Yoga
Free, accessible outdoor yoga is being offered by MS Queensland and The Yoga Partnership throughout the state leading up to and around May 30th 2022. All poses can be done seated or on a mat, making it accessible for all abilities. Check out this link for the timetable of available sessions.
World MS Day ACT Morning Tea
On Wednesday 25th May between 9.30 and 11.30 am a free event is being held at Gloria McKerrow House in Deakin ACT to mark World MS Day. “Executive Manager Client Engagement and Wellbeing, Jodi Haartsen will be speaking about brain health and will be joined by additional guest speakers to be announced soon.”
Research with Connections
Research with Connections 2022 is being held on 27th May by Menzies Institute for Medical Research to celebrate the power of connections and learn more about their work in honour of World MS Day. The event held at the Tailrace Centre in Riverside, Tasmania includes presentations from researchers and community members. Trade tables and a free lunch will be provided.
MS Walk, Run + Roll
The annual charity event, MS Walk, Run+ Roll raises money to support people living with MS and is held in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Launceston on Sunday 29th May 2022. Their inclusive courses are designed for all abilities whether moving on your feet, using a wheelchair or pushing a pram. Find a location for these events near you.
MS Virtual Art Show
The MS Virtual Art Show provides an opportunity to express creativity and celebrate connections through art. The virtual exhibition and award ceremony will take place on Monday 30th May 2020 in recognition of World MS Day and the theme of ‘connections’. Find out more here.
MS Mega Challenge
The MS Mega Challenge is a series of team relay sports events held to raise funds to support people living with multiple sclerosis across Australia. This year it is being held in Canberra on 6th – 7th August. Choose your challenge between swim, squash, racquetball and badminton at this link.