More MS news articles for Aug 2001

Women’s luncheon to raise funds for MS research

http://www.nationalmssociety.org/articles.asp?SMContentIndex=0&SMContentSet=0

Friday, August 17, 2001
By ELLA JOHNSON, Courier & Press staff writer
(812) 464-7420 or ejohnson@evansville.net

Evansville will be the first city in Indiana to host a new pilot program sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society designed specifically women.

The first Women Against MS Luncheon targets women because they make up 73 percent of the people in this country with MS.

“We don’t know what causes MS and we don’t know what cures it,” said Linda Gann, director of special events for the MS Society Indiana Chapter. “Our mission at the MS Society is to end the devastating effects of MS.”

“Until we can do that, we are here to make the days (of MS patients) a little bit better,” said Mandy O’Brien, an MS patient and MS Society community development manager for Southern Indiana and Western Kentucky. She said there are nearly 8,000 people in the area who suffer from MS.

The disease strikes the central nervous system of young adults usually between the ages of 20 to 40. Some patients, however, report symptoms in their teens.

The symptoms range from numbness and can progress to paralysis and blindness. Advances in medical research and technology is making it easier to diagnose MS and begin treatment sooner.

“It’s not a cure, but it’s the best we have now,” Gann said. She said if the MS Society can recruit enough corporate sponsors to underwrite the luncheon, all of the money raised at the luncheon will go to research and services for local MS clients. Women attending the event will also be asked for a donation.

The motivational and educational program will feature writer Zoe Koplowitz, an MS patient and author of the book “Winning Spirit: Life Lessons Learned in Last Place.” She has participated in numerous marathons since being diagnosed with MS over 20 years ago earning her the distinction as the world’s slowest woman marathon runner.

“Hopefully people will be motivated to keep attending this event so it will grow,” Gann said.

IF YOU GO

What: 1st Annual Women Against MS Luncheon
When: Sept. 27, noon to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Evansville Museum, 411 SE Riverside Drive
For more information: Call Mandy O’Brien at (812) 547-9858.