Sporting Orange for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month
Did you know that March is Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month? This month is a perfect time to focus on the effect that multiple sclerosis (MS) has had on such a significant number of families here in the US alone. There are more than half a million people living with the symptoms of this debilitating neurological disease.
National MS Awareness Month was originally established by the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (MSF) and many hardworking contributors to engage more of the public in talks about this serious condition. There are two primary goals associated with this important awareness campaign:
- Promote a better understanding of MS
- Help ensure that more MS patients make well-informed decisions regarding their healthcare decisions
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
This illness attacks the patient’s central nervous system which leads to progressive debilitation in the body. Clinical studies show that MS is also likely a form of autoimmune disease. The focus of this targeted attack is the myelin sheath, which protects and insulate the nerves. The nerves also fall under attack once the disease has progressed far enough.
The Symptoms Associated with Multiple Sclerosis
The initial symptoms produced by MS will vary from patient to patient as their central nervous takes on damage. Eventually, it may not be capable of communicating with any other portions of the body. Early symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis include:
- Double vision
- Blurry vision
- Blindness in one eye
- Impaired coordination
- Muscle weakness
What Causes Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis clinical studies have shown that this disease is fairly common in Caucasian women; however men should be wary of these prior symptoms as well. This autoimmune disorder is usually diagnosed in people between 20 and 50. Unfortunately, neurological specialists are still unsure as to what triggers MS patients.
Organizations like the National Multiple Sclerosis Society suggest that there are several factors which can impact a person’s risk of MS:
- Immunological background
- Vitamin D levels
- Family medical history
- Infectious diseases
Even with access to incredible means, living your life with MS is a very great challenge. Here are just some of the well known American figures who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis:
- Donna Fargo – This popular country singer was diagnosed with MS in 2011
- Trevor Baynes – The NASCAR racer was diagnosed in 2011
- Richard Pryor – The beloved comedian was diagnosed with MS in 1991
- Montel Williams – The decorated war veteran and popular talk show host was diagnosed in 1998
- Ann Romney – The wife of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney was diagnosed in 1996
Show Your Support for MS in 2014
People who are interested in showing their support for National MS Awareness Month should consider wearing orange whenever they can this month. Just be prepared to talk with others if they are curious why you chose to wear orange. This is a great way to get others thinking about MS and to nurture public awareness in your community.
If you are interested in getting involved within your own community this year, please visit the “raise awareness” page of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This page has plenty of ideas for connecting with others who’d like to raise awareness in your local area.
In fact, there are a variety of MS awareness events taking place this year too. You might be interested in checking out the:
- Walk MS
- Bike MS
- Challenge Walk MS
- Muckfest MS
If you are interested in learning more about MS, you should consider getting involved in a local event for National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. There really isn’t a better way to deepen your understanding of the impact of this disease on our country.