More MS news articles for March 2001

Day to help those affected by MS confront challenges, share stories

Last modified at 1:03 a.m. on Wednesday, March 7, 2001
The Capital-Journal

The Eastern Kansas Branch of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society will have a daylong program for individuals with MS and their families Saturday at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, in meeting rooms 3 and 4.

The program, "Moving Forward," will address issues such as employment, nutrition, and physical and psychological health. Nationally known speaker Dr. Karl Gross will be featured. The program, which begins with registration at 9 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m., is free and includes a lunch.

Gross, who was diagnosed with MS in October 1999, brings a unique perspective to medical care for people with MS. Before his own diagnosis and during his years as a neurologist, Gross facilitated a monthly MS self-help group. Since his diagnosis, he has discontinued his clinical practice and has focused his interests on medical/legal work and public speaking.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person can't be predicted. Because of limited treatment options and the unpredictability of the disease, people with MS often feel health-care providers lack an understanding of the emotional-social impact MS has on their lives, according to the society.

Gross' presentation is sponsored by Berlex Laboratories.

The program also will include local speakers. Dr. Barbara Bowman, a local psychologist, will speak about the psychosocial issues involved in chronic illness. Coralee Evans and Helen Chavez, of Absolute Fitness for Women, will speak about nutrition, exercise, yoga and therapeutic massage. Randy Fisher, from the Kansas Commission on Disabilities, will speak about employment issues, and Mary Reed Spencer, RN, will present an overview of the services that the National MS Society provides.

Gross also will speak at the Eastern Kansas Branch's ABC program March 24 and at the Topeka Self Help Group on April 16.

For more information or to register for the program, contact the Eastern Kansas Branch at 272-5292 or at (800) 745-7148.