June 05, 2001
By Susan Hewitt
THE MS Society wants children to get their noses stuck into books - for fun and for a good cause.
For six weeks from June 18 participants in the annual multiple sclerosis read-a-thon must read as many books as possible.
The read-a-thon is the biggest fundraiser for the society each year.
Students raise money by getting family and friends to sponsor their reading efforts - the more books they read the more money they raise.
This week is MS Awareness Week.
MS Society chief executive Debbie Karasinski said 16 West Australians were told each month that they had the disease.
The number of people the society provided services to had more than doubled in the past 10 years from 700 in 1992 to 1670 last month.
"Each year MS Awareness Week is an opportunity for us to raise awareness in the community about MS and its effects on the individual, and the work of the society," Ms Karasinski said.
The society will hold a scientific symposium on Friday.
Ms Karasinski said the symposium, which was open to the public, would highlight research developments into MS. "There are a number of researchers and neurologists coming to WA and presenting topics about the management of MS as well as scientific research into MS," she said.
The cause of MS, which is the most common chronic neurological condition affecting young Australian adults, is still unknown. It can cause disabling muscle weakness and vision problems.
Money raised through the read-a-thon goes towards researching the disease.
It also helps provide services to people with MS, including physiotherapy, massage, counselling and support groups.
For more information call the MS Society on 9365 4888.