MS Society of Canada to Make It's Mark On Our Region
Multiple Sclerosis may not affect you personally, but MS is very prevalent in our region and affects many members of our community each day. “It is the basic everyday things I find the hardest,” says Fiona, a member of the MS Society’s support group. Things like walking long distances, keeping up with her family during outings, and being comfortable leaving the house by herself are on her list of everyday struggles. Fiona was diagnosed with MS in October of 2008, but she tries to not let her diagnosis control her. Fiona continues, saying that she originally felt a pain in her knee, which eventually lead her to see a physiotherapist. The outcome of what followed was a quick process of visiting doctor after doctor. Shortly after the original physiotherapist appointment, Fiona was informed of her MS diagnosis. “At the time it seemed very sudden, but in retrospect the diagnosis made sense,” explains Fiona. She shares that she was “very lucky to have the family she has” and that “they are very supportive of everything that follows the diagnosis.”
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, and often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms of MS vary greatly from person to person, and even from time to time in the same person, and can include mobility issues and paralysis, extreme fatigue, vision constraints, vertigo, spasms, and many other bodily issues.
Since moving to Fort McMurray at the beginning of 2014, the MS Society of Canada has been working to promote awareness in our region. The Society has a monthly support group meeting for people diagnosed with MS and their families. “The purpose of the group is to be the shoulder to lean on, the hand to hold, and the avenue for support that those living with MS may need,” says Darrel Gregory, Director of Northern Region, MS Society of Canada. The Society has also been working on creating activities, exercise programs, and outings for the group to get involved in and to enhance their quality of life.
The MS Society is also in the works of planning the Fort McMurray MS Walk, happening May 3, and they are looking for as much involvement as possible. Since this is the first time there has been a full time office in the Wood Buffalo Region, the Society wants to prove to the rest of Alberta that Wood Buffalo has the most supportive and passionate community in our province. From volunteering, to sponsorship, to pledging for the walk, there are many opportunities to get involved. For information about the MS Walk please visit www.MSWalks.ca.
Canadians have one of the highest rates of Multiple Sclerosis in the world and there are over 14,000 people in Alberta living with MS. MS is also the most common neurological disease affecting young adults in Canada, and with your help we come closer and closer everyday to finding the cure.
For information on how to get involved with the MS Society, please email Cait.Evans@mssociety.ca, call 587.646.2146, or visit http://mssociety.ca. You can also check us out on Facebook (MS Society of Canada – Fort McMurray Chapter), follow us on Twitter (@MS_YMM), or come visit us at the office (194 Grenfell Crescent – Community Village).