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MS Society of Canada challenges Canadians to join #TeamFight during MS Awareness Month

  • National News Release

For Immediate Release

Toronto -- April 30, 2015 -- Earlier this year, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada launched a bold new awareness campaign asking all Canadians whether they would flee or fight when faced with the fact that Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the world. In May, the MS Society takes that awareness to the next level by asking Canadians to step up to the challenge by joining #TeamFight. Canadians can participate in a wide range of local events or…they can put their poutine where their mouth is and #TakethePledge to #endMS.

Beginning on May 14, Canadians will take on uniquely-Canadian pledges to raise funds in support of the high-calibre MS research being led by homebred researchers worldwide – an investment that is key to putting an end to MS. Participants will be tasked with breaking the office dress code by wearing a toque at work, belting out a classic round of O Canada in a public place, indulging in an XXL poutine, getting creative in the kitchen by including maple syrup in all 3 meals of the day or sporting a new trend of plaid on plaid on plaid.

“I will be rising to the challenge for #TakethePledge in support of my sister,” says Chris Piron. “Seeing my sister tackle the effects of the disease has opened my eyes to the symptoms and challenges that someone living with MS faces on a daily basis. One such symptom is overheating - getting really hot and being unable to continue certain tasks. Therefore, I pledge to wear a toque and as many layers of plaid as I can for the first 3 days of the challenge, no matter how hot the weather may be.” Chris will be posting his pledge to social media and challenging his friends and family to do the same, even just for a day, to feel a portion of the difficulty someone with MS experiences in warm weather. “I'm proud to join #TeamFight during MS Awareness Month and to donate to such an important cause,” Chris continues.

Take the Pledge is a way to solidify a participant’s commitment to ending this unpredictable disease. People who have joined the challenge - otherwise known as #TeamFight - will be encouraged to share their pledge through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and to challenge fellow Canadians to join them. Canadians will also be asking influencers such as mayors, members of Parliament, athletes and celebrities to #TakethePledge with them. Pledges will be showcased online at endMS.ca, where visitors can also watch Canada’s map populate with donations to help #endMS.

“We’ve let Canadians know that MS is Canada’s disease – we have the highest rate in the world – so during MS Awareness Month we want to see if our country is up to the challenge to do whatever it takes to end MS,” says Yves Savoie, president and CEO, MS Society of Canada.

In addition to Take the Pledge, there are many ways for the public to join #TeamFight, including:

  • Participating in the MS Walk in more than 160 communities across the country.
  • Buying fresh or potted carnations as part of the MS Carnation Campaign at select locations from May 7-9.
  • Getting an oil change at Mr. Lube from May 8-10 to contribute a $2 donation to the MS Society.
  • Registering for the MS Bike or Muck MS Canada – set to take place from June to October.

Public outreach for MS Awareness Month is underscored by the MS Society’s presence on Parliament Hill in Ottawa from May 5-6 – an opportunity to meet with political decision-makers to bring MS to the forefront and to discuss opportunities for improving the support infrastructure for Canadians affected by MS. A parliamentary luncheon is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5 and the annual Carnation Pinning Ceremony, to be held in the lobby of the House of Commons, is scheduled for Wednesday, May 6.

A variety of MS Society of Canada and affiliated spokespeople are available for interviews in both official languages. For more information and to get involved, the public may visit endms.ca.

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About multiple sclerosis and the MS Society of Canada

Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the world. MS is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system comprising the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. It is one of the most common neurological diseases affecting young adults in Canada. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40, and the unpredictable effects of MS last for the rest of their lives. The MS Society provides services to people with MS and their families and funds research to find the cause and cure for this disease. Please visit mssociety.ca or call 1-800-268-7582 to make a donation or for more information.

Join the conversation and connect with the MS community online. Find the MS Society on Twitter, Instagram or like our page on Facebook.

CONTACT:
Lindsay Gulin, MS Society of Canada
1-800-268-7582 ext. 3245
lindsay.gulin@mssociety.ca

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