This year, and for many decades, we have annually launched MS Awareness Month on Parliament Hill with a carnation pinning ceremony – a symbol of hope for a future free of multiple sclerosis. We, alongside some of our incredible MS Ambassadors, gathered together on the Hill with a strong message: Canada may be a world leader in hockey and maple syrup, but we’re also a leader in rates of MS in the world, and that’s a reality we’re not willing to accept.
Following carnations being pinned on MPs entering the House of Commons, a sign of solidarity with all Canadians affected by MS, MPs Laurie Hawn (Conservative, Edmonton Centre), Kennedy Stewart (NDP, Burnaby-Douglas) and Hedy Fry (Liberal, Vancouver Centre) stood in the House to read member’s statements on MS. MP Laurie Hawn spoke about how the unpredictability of MS creates challenges for caregivers and affects employment; MP Hedy Fry called for more MS research and encouraged others to learn about MS. MP Kennedy Stewart’s statement stood out to us, as he shared words about his own family being directly affected by MS:
In addition, the MPs echoed priorities from our ACTION on MS report, which called on all levels of Canadian government to take action in four areas: secure jobs and income; caregiver supports; coordinated lifelong care and support; and progressive MS research.
I welcome your comments and conversation as we work together this month to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis and to improve quality of life for people affected by this disease. This May, how will you be raising awareness of MS? Leave your comments below.