By Carla Hinton
Multiple sclerosis is a multifaceted disease, unpredictable in how it strikes its victims. Nobody knows this better than Linda K. Chance of northwest Oklahoma City.
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1993, she was forced to retire from her job as the disease struck in disabling fashion.
An awareness ribbon drawing attention to the multiple sclerosis was conspicuous in its absence as she began to note such ribbons for AIDS, breast cancer and other devastating disorders.
Linda, 57, created the Prism Ribbon for multiple sclerosis -- a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system.
"The Prism Ribbon changes color when you move or when the light changes," she said. "MS is always changing and as often as the ribbon can change, the disease can change."
Linda and her friend, Jody Bukacek bought prismatic, holographic fabric ribbon from a local crafts store, cut and twisted the iridescent strips into prism ribbons to be pinned on a person's clothing.
Not surprisingly, others felt the same way. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Oklahoma Chapter, adopted the ribbon to represent the disease and folks across the state and nation are wearing it. Linda said officials with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society are considering accepting the ribbon as a worldwide, recognizable symbol for multiple sclerosis.
That's important, but the positive comments, e-mails and calls she continues to receive from people who have multiple sclerosis and their loved ones are truly special, she says.
"I wanted the ribbon to bring about awareness and discussion of the disease and it has," Linda said.
Her cause got a boost late last year when she was named a Champion of Courage by Beta Seron, a pharmaceutical company that manufactures one of the drugs used to treat multiple sclerosis. As part of the award, Linda received a grant which she has used to fund the production of plastic Prism Ribbons.
The manufactured Prism Ribbons are available for free, although a donation is encouraged. Linda also sends out free ribbon kits for organizations that want to make multiple fabric prism ribbons.
For more information
about the ribbon, call the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Oklahoma
Chapter, at (800) 777-7814, visit the organization's Web site at www.oknmss.org
or contact Linda via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call me: 475-3322.
Write me: P.O. Box 25125, Oklahoma City 73125.E-Mail me: email@example.com.
Fax me: 475-3183.