Let's Find a Cure for MS!

We have all heard about how cancer, smoking, and other illnesses kill people, but I never hear stories of how Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects people.

Sure, people may not think about it because they may not know what it is. Some may feel that it doesn’t apply to them. I would like people to think about the people and families MS does affect. Like cancer, there is no cure for it. There also is not a known cause for it. However, there are ways people can help contribute to the cure for it.

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Participating in the various MS fundraisers, such as MS Walks, Bike MS and Swim MS are all ways of donating to foundations dedicating to finding a cure. Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic autoimmune disease that attacks the myelin sheath covering the nerves in the central nervous system, affects the lives of thousand Americans each year. ( “About MS.” Home: National MS Society. Web.

28 Feb. 2011. Web.) This disease can cause one to have paralysis or loss of vision. There are actually four type of MS: relapsing-remitting, primary-progressive, secondary-progressive, and progressive-relapsing.

Many symptoms come with MS, including loss of memory, balance, and vision. Other symptoms are numbness in various body parts, extreme fatigue, depression, heat sensitivity and headaches. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50. To be diagnosed, a person would see a physician who takes their medical history, and then have a MRI and possibly a spinal tap and numerous blood test. Anyone can get MS, but it is most common in Caucasian women who live farther away from the equator.

My strong mother of six, Catherine Montz, is an example of one of the many people who was diagnosed. If someone in ones immediate family is diagnosed with MS or another autoimmune disease, the chances of other family members developing such a disease is increased. Unfortunately, my siblings and I are at an increased risk of developing MS. Also, researchers have found that people who get Mononucleosis as a teenager are more prone to developing MS. I had Mononucleosis a few years ago, and because of that, I have an even higher chance than the rest of my siblings.

MS puts many strains on a person and the family members involved. Since MS affects the body and mental state, the families of those with MS have to learn to cope with this disease and adjust their lives around them. My life has definitely changed since my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I have more stress in my life, along with more responsibilities and more worries about my mother’s health and the financial state of my family. This disease is unpredictable.

One day, the person, like my mom, can be feeling perfectly fine, and the next they are completely bedridden. I have taken on the responsibilities of helping my mother out by working around how she is feeling that day and dealing with becoming more independent than I already was. Multiple Sclerosis Foundations need donations for numerous expenses, such as research to find the cause and a cure, and to develop more medicines that slow the progress of MS down. Although the cause of MS has yet to be found, generous donations from people have helped contribute to the research. Researches have been able to identify more people with MS and have also found links to the cause of the disease.

“This disease is linked to environment, genetics, viruses, and vitamin D. In the U.S. 400,000 people are diagnosed with MS every year. More than 200 people every week are diagnosed with this extremely painful disease” (“About MS.” Home: National MS Society.

Web. 28 Feb. 2011. Web.). Some medicines to help slow the progression of the disease, but that is not enough.

Since the medicines are not cheap, and most insurance companies do not cover the expenses, some families cannot pay for the treatments. Thousands of people are counting on our moral and monetary support. No donation is too small. Donating even the smallest amount to the National MS Society can help to put an end to the suffering people with MS and what they face on a daily basis. From previous people donating to the National MS Society, the research for MS has benefitted greatly from it. Please give today!