World MS Day Builds Connections and Momentum for the MS Community
World MS Day follows a month of fundraising and advocacy for the more than 90,000 Canadians living with MS
TORONTO, ON (May 30, 2022) – A global day to celebrate togetherness, solidarity, and a vision for a multiple sclerosis (MS) free world, World Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Day on May 30 brings the entire MS Community together to build connections and raise awareness about the impact of MS. In Canada, World MS Day officially concludes May as MS Awareness Month.
The MS Society of Canada recognized MS Awareness Month through a variety of advocacy and community fundraising events, including yesterday’s successful MS Walk that saw thousands participate in over 100 in-person and virtual locations across the country. To date, MS Walk 2022 has raised more than $3 million as participants moved forward together towards a world free of MS.
MS Walk was one of many events held across the country in May for MS Awareness Month. Among those was the inaugural MS Million Dollar Tower Challenge, hosted by KingSett Capital, which saw over 160 people – including Toronto Mayor John Tory – rappel off a 20-story building in Toronto for MS awareness. The adrenaline-filled event raised more than $4.75 million to accelerate Canadian MS research. Earlier in the month, MS Society representatives met virtually with over 60 parliamentarians for the MS Society’s annual Day on the Hill advocacy event to discuss policies that are important to the Canadian MS community. This included implementing the Canada Disability Benefit and recognizing episodic disabilities in the benefit’s eligibility criteria, as well as asking the federal government to prioritize MS research and ensure equitable access to MS treatment across the country.
Other MS Awareness Month activities included the Mr. Lube MS Weekend (May 6-8) at Canadian Mr. Lube locations, where $2 from every oil change was donated to the MS Society, and the May 50k virtual challenge to leave MS in the past. Communities also issued proclamations to recognize May as MS Awareness Month, and today, several monuments across Canada will light up in honour of World MS Day.
“World MS Day is a day to raise a collective voice for those impacted by MS internationally. We continue to see significant progress in global MS research towards better understanding, treating, and preventing MS – and the momentum is only growing. This is certainly the case in Canada, which is home to many of the world’s top MS researchers,” says Pamela Valentine, President & CEO, MS Society of Canada. “Our commitment to funding research, providing quality services and programs, and advocating at all levels of government for those impacted by MS is unwavering. The support during MS Awareness Month and beyond is instrumental to improving the quality of life for all people living with MS, propelling us even closer towards a world free of MS.”
Since 1948, the MS Society has invested more than $204 million towards MS research dedicated to advancing treatment and care, enhancing well-being, understanding and halting disease progression, and preventing MS. In 2021, the MS Society announced over $2.6 million dollars in funding for research and training the next generation of MS researchers. Research breakthroughs continue to be made; however, significant questions around the exact cause of MS and its prevention remain unanswered, making research investment a key priority for the MS Society.
The MS Society is grateful for the generosity of donors, event participants, volunteers, and the MS community throughout MS Awareness Month, on World MS Day, and beyond. From now until May 31, all donations to the MS Society will be matched dollar for dollar to fund ground-breaking MS research and programs for the more than 90,000 Canadians who are affected by MS: mssociety.ca/donate.
About multiple sclerosis and the MS Society of Canada
Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the world. On average, 12 Canadians are diagnosed every day. MS is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord). It is considered an episodic disability meaning that the severity and duration of illness and disability can vary and are often followed by periods of wellness. It can also be progressive. Most people are diagnosed with MS between the ages of 20 and 49 and the unpredictable effects of the disease will last for the rest of their lives. The MS Society provides information, support and advocacy to people affected by MS, and funds research to find the cause and cure for the disease, bringing us closer to a world free of MS. Please visit mssociety.ca or call 1-800-268-7582 for more information, to get involved, or to support Canadians affected by MS by making a donation.
- 30 -
Nick Williams – NATIONAL Public Relations (Ontario)
Justin Meloche – Le Cabinet de relations publiques NATIONAL (Québec)
Directeur, Relations médias
Leah Thomson – NATIONAL Public Relations (Western Canada)
Carter Hutton – NATIONAL Public Relations (Atlantic Canada)
Marie-Ève Simard – Société Canadienne de la SP, Division du Québec
Directrice du Marketing et des Communications
Sarah Greening – MS Society of Canada
Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations