Date: 14 April 2002
Category: UK Events
Switch on to MS ? that's the message Pam St Clement and the Multiple Sclerosis Society are sending out for national MS Week from 14 to 21 April 2002. The top TV star wants people to understand more about the devastating neurological disease that strikes 50 people in the UK every week and to help raise an extra £1 million to fund research and care initiatives.
?MS affects different people in different ways,? says Pam. ?Sometimes the symptoms are very obvious, like lack of mobility. Sometimes they're much less visible but just as distressing, like fatigue and incontinence. For some people attacks come and go. For others disability sets in quickly. It's one of the most unpredictable conditions, and one of the most cruel because it usually strikes in the prime of life.?
During MS Week, the Society is focusing special attention on the MRI scanner unit it funds at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, the first in the world totally dedicated to MS research. Building on investment of £7 million over the last 15 years, a new £2.5 million research programme aims to achieve earlier diagnosis and to target treatments more effectively.
Another way to help research is by leaving body tissue to the MS Tissue Bank at London's Charing Cross Hospital. Nearly 2,000 people have done so since the Bank, which is also funded by the MS Society, was set up in 1998.The Bank is one of only three in the world that specialises in MS Research.
And finally, further funding is helping to increase the number of MS specialist nurses in the UK. The MS Society Nurse Fund is a rolling five-year programme of recruiting and training nurses in places where people with MS have limited or no access to specialist services. More than 30 appointments have already been made and the Society hopes to double this number by the end of 2003.
In addition to focusing on a range of national projects, the Society's UK-wide network of community MS Branches will be out in force creating awareness through a host of local initiatives. These activities will aim to harness local support of the Society's work through fundraising events including the established MS Cake Break Day and the MS Hot Ticket Raffle.