Securing a brighter future for multiple sclerosis research in Canada
$60 million raised to drive pace to end MS
|Read the endMS Impact Report|
March 6, 2013 – Toronto, Ontario – Through the dedicated efforts of people affected by MS across the country and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, more than $60 million was raised to secure a brighter future for MS research through the endMS campaign.
The endMS campaign established the endMS Research and Training Network, which has attracted, trained and retained talented medical and research professionals at varying stages of their careers in the field of MS.
More than 1,000 experienced researchers and trainees from more than 65 Canadian academic and health institutions have been brought together to participate in innovative education and training opportunities such as the endMS Summer School, endMS conferences, the Scholar Program for Researchers in Training (SPRINT) and the endMS Regional Research and Training Centres (RRTCs).
“With more researchers involved in MS research in Canada than ever before, people with MS will see accelerated growth in the understanding and management of MS,” says Yves Savoie, president and CEO, MS Society of Canada. “Researchers are now part of a highly collaborative network that is drawing young trainees to this important field of research. We are deeply grateful to our dedicated team of volunteer campaign leaders across Canada, led by honorary national campaign chair Rick Waugh and national campaign chair Sandy Aird. Without them, this success would not have been possible.”
endMS RRTCs host MS-research related workshops, research retreats, symposia and journal clubs tailored to the needs and interests of trainees. These programs provide trainees with tools and resources to maximize their MS research careers. Trainees find out more about the many facets of MS research and its allied research fields, such as occupational therapy, psychology and nutrition.
Trainees are also given the opportunity to establish a strong foundation for their MS-focused independent research career through the endMS Transitional Career Development Award program.
“Without this award, I would have been set back months or years trying to get funding,” says Dr. Steven Kerfoot, recipient of the Garrett Herman endMS Transitional Career Development Award and faculty member, Western University. “This award has allowed me to invest in the research tools that are necessary for me to carry out my work and achieve my MS research goals.”
Canada is gaining momentum in MS research, and significant advancements have been made to broaden our understanding of the disease. In addition to funding the endMS Research and Training Network, the endMS campaign funded crucial MS research in the areas of myelin repair, neuroimmunology and quality of life, among others.
“We have made a lot of progress in the past two decades,” says Dr. Christina Wolfson, program director, endMS National Education and Training Program and director, division of clinical epidemiology, McGill University Health Centre. “I think the sky’s the limit at this point.”
“Knowing that people are working hard together in the discovery of the cause and ultimately a cure for MS is reaffirming to my personal motto of ‘I have MS; MS doesn’t have me,’” says Amanda Piron, diagnosed with MS when she was 16 years old.
“There are still many questions about the future quality of life for people with MS, and we continue our work to get those answers,” says Mr. Savoie. “To do that, we remain committed to support research to discover the cause of the disease, improve symptom management and ultimately find a cure for all forms of MS.”