Public Support of Society's Walk is Major Contributing Factor and Eagerly Sought Again for Spring 2001
Wednesday March 28
Source: PR Newswire
NEW YORK, March 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2000 consolidated financial report of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society indicates that the overall Society income has increased from $134 million in 1999 to $158 million in 2000. This encouraging news has allowed the Society to increase allocations for MS research to over $28 million in 2000, up from $24 million in 1999, and for service and health professional programs to more than $82 million in 2000, up from $72 million in 1999.
"We are proud of our continued increase in funding for the fight against multiple sclerosis," said Richard Slifka, volunteer Chairman of the Society. "This enables us to make life a bit easier for the third of a million Americans who have MS and their families, and to pursue our massive research effort to eradicate this devastating disease."
"For most people, a walk-a-thon is just numbers on a balance sheet," comments Judy Rahmani, a former nurse from Long Island, NY, "but as someone who deals daily with the challenges of MS, The MS Walk means my life. When I received my MS diagnosis, I felt angry, scared and alone, even though my husband and children tried to be supportive." Adds Judy, "Eventually, I ended up calling my local chapter of the Society. There I found a group of caring nonjudgmental people who provided me with the emotional and psychological tools I needed to get on with my life. Now I try and do likewise for others."
"Public support of The MS Walk helps the National MS Society raise nearly 25% of the funds it uses to advance Society research and service programs. The more than 700 Spring walks from coast to coast last year attracted over 200,000 participants and we're hoping for even greater numbers this year," reports General Mike Dugan, President and CEO of the Society. "And I'm pleased to report that because of strong volunteer assistance, it only costs the Society about 15 cents to raise each dollar."
Events such as the annual The MS Walk and the summer and fall MS Bike Tours have helped the Society fund more MS research and provide more programs for people with MS and health professionals than any other MS organization in the world. In 2001 nearly $30 million has been allocated to support a total of 300 MS research projects in the US and abroad. "Research has never been more hopeful," says Dr. Stephen Reingold, Vice President of Research Programs. "Not only is the Society currently funding all peer reviewed and approved research projects submitted to us, there are over 70 new, or newly applied, medications and technological aids in varying phases of evaluation on the road to potential FDA approval."
Since the Society's founding in 1946, it has devoted more than $310 million to MS research in an effort to find the cure and develop effective treatments for the disease. This investment in research and researchers has brought to the field some of the most important scientists of our time, including the pioneer in myelin research Dr. Cedric Raine, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "It was Sylvia Lawry, Founder-Director of the National MS Society, whose personal vision and energy spurred not only world attention to the problems of multiple sclerosis but my own. Advances in treating MS are exponential now. This is a very exciting time in MS research with more breakthroughs in the last 10 years than the 100 years preceding."
MS is typically diagnosed in the "prime of life," when people are building careers and starting families, with someone newly diagnosed virtually each hour. "As compelling as MS research is," observes Dr. Nancy Holland, Vice President of Clinical Programs, "it is equally compelling to help people with MS maintain fulfilling lives. And this year alone, through its 50-state network of chapters the Society has provided services to over one million people." Presently, the Society, offers over 60 educational brochures, 2,000 support groups, 200 family program, 2,500 client education programs, including its latest addition "Learn On-Line" website programs.
In addition to helping people with MS directly, the Society also offers a full complement of literature and educational programs to assist primary care physicians, neurologists, nurse practitioners and other health care professionals stay current with MS research and new therapies. The Society is affiliated with over 125 MS centers as part of its partnership with the medical community to assure quality care for people with MS.
As part of this effort, the Society will be co-sponsoring with Mt. Sinai School of Medicine an internet conference for neurologists on March 31, 2001 with eight live sites across the country. It is also in the process of collaborating with the University of New Mexico to establish a website with continuing medical education programs for physicians and nurses.
For more information about MS, the work of the National MS Society or how you can participate in upcoming Society events, call 1-800-FIGHT MS; on the Web visit www.nationalmssociety.org, or e-mail email@example.com.
Multiple Sclerosis Society
Contact: Arney Rosenblat of National MS Society, 212 476-0436