• It’s time to tell the world: Kiss Goodbye to MS

    21 January 2017

    Kiss Goodbye to MS is the first and only global fundraising and awareness campaign for multiple sclerosis.

    We talk a lot of talk around here about MS being Canada’s disease. While it’s true that we have the highest rate of MS in the world, and some of the best researchers around, it’s important to remember that we are part of a global community. MS reaches beyond borders, so we’re going to do the same. Now through February 14, we’re calling on all Canadians to join the rest of the world in a show of solidarity, to Kiss Goodbye to MS.

    So how can you help? It’s simple really:

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  • ‘Tis the season for joining an international movement: Three ways to give

    29 November 2016

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    Today is Giving Tuesday. A movement which began four years ago in the United States in response to the post-American-Thanksgiving consumerist rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Today, Giving Tuesday is an international day of giving, and people around the world are donating to causes close to their hearts. We know that Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world, and we Canadians need to band together and put an end to it!

    Team Fight is stronger than ever before. 2016 has been a year rife with exciting MS research news and other successes, so let’s not quit now!

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  • It’s only getting better: Three ways your donations have helped fund advancements in MS Research

    29 November 2016

    The thing is, Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the world, making MS a Canadian problem. It’s why we have the best MS researchers on the job to fix it. We are getting closer through advancements in research, like the three targeted efforts listed below – all zoning in on a cure or helping those living with MS live better until the cure is found. All you need to do is keep up the momentum.

    Today is Giving Tuesday. Today is an international day of giving and people around the world are giving to a cause close to their heart. We hope you’ll make a donation today to end Canada’s disease: multiple sclerosis.

    Canadian BMT Trial
    Drs. Mark Freedman and Harry Atkins from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute led a trial to determine whether transplanting bone marrow stem cells in people with MS can stop the disease. Outcomes of the trial revealed patients who had highly aggressive forms of MS, and who were not responsive to previous treatments, were relapse free for up to two years following the procedure. Read more about the treatment from Jennifer Molson, one of 24 trial participants: http://bit.ly/2g7EjeJ

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  • Holiday giving drives Canadian MS research

    1 December 2015

    by Yves Savoie

    Canadians have garnered an international reputation for our kindness, compassion, and generosity. According to Imagine Canada, approximately 60 per cent of Canadian adults will give $5 billion to charities during the holiday season. Today, #GivingTuesday marks the time of year when Canadians begin to think about strengthening their communities and carving out time in busy schedules to help others.

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  • The really, really long journey to end MS

    20 November 2015

    By Sean Wingrave

    On Remembrance Day 2006, I was at work. That was the day the entire right side of my body went numb. Right away I was off to the hospital—I was worried I had had a stroke. Instead I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

    As part of my recovery from that relapse, I began running. I started slow by challenging myself to walk around the block, which then turned into short runs and over time longer distances. About two and a half years after I was diagnosed with MS, I was running my first half marathon, and then two more after that. Running has become part of my fight against the disease.

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  • My MS journey: Taryn Lencoe

    11 November 2015

    Swimming 12 hour to end MS 

    By Taryn Lencoe

    When I was a teenager, my cousin was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I hadn’t known about MS before her diagnosis, and my cousin prefers not to focus on her disease. So I took the time to educate myself online, largely through the MS Society website. I participated in a few MS Walks; I met more people living with MS. Eventually, I had witnessed the wide range of symptoms of MS and how it affects people so differently. My cousin has relapsing-remitting MS, but I discovered that it can become progressive. I also discovered there is a genetic risk factor associated with MS—and my cousin has four children. I spent many years focused on what my cousin’s future might look like. I visited with her children, swam and played with them, and spent time wondering about their health and their futures. For years, I wanted to do more than hope for a cure. I wanted to raise more money than I had before and to contribute to the dialogue of MS awareness in Canada.

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  • Why I Muck: Kim Moran

    14 October 2015

    By Kim Moran

    My whole life I’ve prided myself on my independence. I’ve set goals and accomplished them. I’ve worked hard. It wasn’t like I made a conscious decision to block others out, but I did. Every time I chose to go through something on my own, every time I refused to ask to for help, every time I did my own thing—I sent the message, “I don’t need your help. I can do it on my own.”

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    One year ago my world was turned upside down as I sat nervously in a small examination room and listened to the doctor relay the words I was dreading: “Kim, you have MS.”

    I was devastated. Confused. Broken. What was I supposed to do now? I braced myself for what I believed was going to be one of the hardest, darkest seasons of my life. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and I was terrified.

    I recognized I had a choice to make: I could choose to hold my diagnosis close to my chest and away from the rest of the world or I could open myself up, allowing people to walk alongside me, support me, and help carry me as I journeyed into the unknown.

    One by one I began to let people in on my journey. I began to open up and tell my story, experience support from others, and before I knew it I was wading through this mess of a disease with people all around me. I was not alone.

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    I expected this last year to be one of the hardest of my life, but that hasn’t been my experience at all. As I’ve opened myself up to the people around me, I’ve experienced one of the most life-giving, encouraging seasons of my life. As a community of people has rallied around me in love and support, I am reminded every single day that I do need help. But I’m also reminded that I am not alone.

    This past weekend I participated in Muck MS Canada in Chilliwack, BC. I was surrounded by some of my closest friends, members of the MS community whom I’ve met over the past year, and hundreds of others who united together in the fight to end MS.

    Your presence and participation in events like Muck MS Canada affect far more than you may ever understand. It’s not just the money we raise for MS care and research; the impact extends far beyond that. Long after the funds are spent on support for people living with MS, the cheers of spectators still ring in my ears. The high fives from fellow participants still bring a smile to my face, and I’m still experiencing the presence of friends, family and strangers who chose to stand alongside me. They have reminded me that those who fight MS don’t have to do it alone.

    The truth is, we all need help. We can’t do it on our own. All you have to do is take a good look around at the masses of mud-runners, volunteers and cheering squads to see it. We’re wading through this muck together, and we’re better for it.

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    With another successful Muck MS Canada season behind us, we would like to take this opportunity to tell all of our amazing volunteers, sponsors, donors, cheerleaders and participants just how much we appreciate you. Thanks to all of you, we were able to see how nearly 6000 people running through mud could raise more than $550,000, which will go to improving the quality of life for people affected by MS and funding important MS research.  When you decided to be part of the Muck MS Canada team, you decided to fight Canada’s disease. So, on behalf of every Canadian affected by MS, thank you for choosing to fight!

     

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  • Get Mucked for MS

    24 September 2015

    Geoff is one of the trainers at Fit Factory Fitness. We recently dropped in on him to get his professional advice on the best way to prepare for some of the obstacles you’ll face. 

    I recently learned that Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world – but I also learned that we have some of the best researchers in the world working to find some answers. That’s why I’m supporting Muck MS Canada this Saturday in Hamilton, ON. Our team leader and creator Sgt. Tony A. designed the course where more than 800 people will run through 5km of mud and over 15 obstacles all in the name of doing whatever it takes to end MS. And I’ll be right there with you, pushing you to do your personal best.

    If you’re already signed up for this event, chances are you’ve been training hard and getting yourself ready for the big day. I’m one of the trainers at Fit Factory Fitness and I took a look at some of my favourite obstacles and shared some easy ways to prepare – at home, in the gym, or at your office. 

    A few pro tips to consider as you prepare for your first mud run:

    • Wear snug clothing. No pockets! They’ll fill up with mud and weigh you (or your pants) down.
    • Double (or triple) knot your shoes.
    • If possible, wear a moisture wicking layer underneath your clothes.
    • While goggles or sunglasses may seem like a good idea, they’ll get muddy quickly and make it hard to navigate the rest of the course.
    • Leave any jewelry at home – rings tend to slip off once your hands get muddy.
    • Remember that you’re there to get muddy. Black clothes are great, but for a shockingly great before & after picture, wear light colours!

    Muck MS Canada is tons of fun, it brings people together, but it’s also a personal challenge, it’s good for you and most importantly, it’s good for every Canadian affected by MS. Thank you for being on #teamfight!

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  • Why I Muck: Erin Norris

    21 August 2015

    I was diagnosed with MS in 2010, when I was pregnant with my third child.  When Leah was born, I would watch her and wonder if I would be able to do all that I did with her older siblings.  And when I was ready to stop wondering, I decided to do something to make it happen.  I muck because I want to help propel MS research forward, so that MS will not limit me.  And I muck because I can.

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    In 2014, I participated in my first Muck MS Canada event in Hamilton.  I had never done an obstacle course event before, but it seemed different and challenging: so much more “me” than other charity events. My husband Larry was incredibly supportive, and joined my team right away.  I convinced our friends Anthony and Naomi to join us too, although I’m sure they both thought I was slightly crazy.

    As donations from friends and family rolled in, I realized that I was really going to have to do this.  I was so nervous the night before the event!  I lay awake thinking about the obstacles that would be insurmountable, and worried that my left leg would give out on me.  I had trained, I was ready, but I worried about the unpredictability of my body when I challenged it.

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    But the next day, the energy and camaraderie at the event were outstanding.  I saw strangers help each other through, over and under obstacles, and teammates that cheered each other on.  Adrenaline propelled me through the course, and my heart was ready to burst with pride as I crossed the finish line to applause, and leaned forward to receive my medal.  I was proud of what I had accomplished, and grateful that so many people were there, for me and for others, in the fight to end MS.  I’m only a little embarrassed to admit I cried.

    Now, Muck MS Canada 2015 is around the corner, and I’m getting ready again for the big day (September 26th is only a month away!).  I’ve been doing two days a week of cardio conditioning, one day of strength training, practising yoga, and chasing the kids around.  I’m asking for donations early.  I’ve set aside my tightest workout gear (it collects less muck) and I’m breaking in my shoes.  I think I might even order team knee socks…

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    I am so excited to muck this year, and I’m proud to be raising both MS awareness, and funds to support MS research.  And this year, I will know that the obstacles awaiting me on the course – like the challenges of MS – won’t defeat me.

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  • MS is not the end—it’s the beginning.

    20 August 2015

    Guest post by Lizelle Mendoza, MS Walk Ambassador

    I’m Lizelle Mendoza: nursing student, Winnipegger, mover and shaker, and someone who has been living with multiple sclerosis for most of my life. I’m also an MS Ambassador, MS Walk participant, MS support group member – and now I can add A&W Cruisin’ to end MS Champion to that list.

    Remember the MEsenchymal Stem cell therapy for CAnadian MS patients (MESCAMS) announcement last January? I spoke at the Winnipeg press conference announcing the new MS specific stem cell study. For me the stem cell trial represents a step towards a cure for MS—and not just a little step, but a big, important step on the path to ending the disease.

    So it makes sense that I’m speaking out again – this time for A&W Cruisin’ to end MS; A&W contributed $1 million to the MESCAMS study, on top of the $6.5 million raised through the campaign. On August 27, $1 from every Teen Burger sold will go toward MS research and services. I’m thanking you in advance for making your way out that day to eat a Teen Burger, buy a cutout for the restaurant wall, or even drop some change into a donation mug! So how did my journey with MS start?

    When I was 11, I woke up one day with a large black spot in my eye. That was just the beginning. For many years I had no idea what was wrong with me. My blurry vision stopped me from playing sports and prevented me from trying new things because I never knew when my vision would blur. My symptoms worsened to the point of having numbness in my leg. Finally, when I turned 18, my doctors gave me a diagnosis: relapsing-remitting MS.

    The moment someone said, “You have MS”, I thought my life was over. I was 18—my life should have felt like it was only beginning, but for me it felt like the end. I am a Winnipegger, and my parents emigrated from the Philippines. MS is not known to be very common in Asian cultures, and my family had a large learning curve as we came to understand what this disease meant for us. At first I felt tied down. Everyone, myself included, said, “You can’t do this,” “You can’t do that.” But as I matured, I learned more about the treatment options available to me and decided to take disease-modifying therapies, which have helped with my symptoms. I feel that I can take control of my life again.

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    I know that the life I’m living now wouldn’t be possible without the therapies I’m taking—and the therapies I’m taking wouldn’t exist without MS research funding. Now, on August 27, I’ll be travelling across Canada to raise awareness of what it’s like to live with MS to generate support for the A&W Cruisin’ to end MS campaign. I’m sure you’ll also be able to catch me on Instagram eating a Teen Burger or two (or three or four?)—feel free to mention me in your posts that day and use the hashtag #endMS! I’ll be looking through the feed at the end of the day, and I want to see all your faces. Thank you, again, for your support. It means the world for all of us who live with MS.

    Follow Lizelle’s A&W Cruisin’ to end MS activity on Twitter and Periscope @lmend0za.

    Follow the MS Society of Canada on Twitter, Instagram and Periscope @mssocietycanada

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