The international MS community recognises World MS Day 2017 on 31 May. In the lead up to this significant day, MS Australia (MSA) is launching a video series about the experience of living with MS.
The theme for World MS Day 2017 is Life with MS. This is a great opportunity to pause and reflect on living with MS in Australia.
We were thrilled when our colleagues at the MS International Federation (MSIF) selected one of our National Advocates to feature in one of three international videos, where people share their everyday tips for life with MS. In line with the MSIF global campaign, the MSA videos feature five Australian woman talking about the challenges of life with MS and sharing ideas for managing these challenges.
We will be releasing these videos, one by one, in the weeks leading up to World MS Day, so keep an eye on our website: www.msaustralia.org.au
Share your tips for living better with MS using #LifewithMS – for more information visit: https://worldmsday.org/about/
You may have solutions to challenges like coping with stress and emotions, balance problems, or dealing with heat. A simple tip that works for you could make a huge difference to someone else!
Some key facts:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition affecting the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord)
- More than 23,000 people throughout Australia live with MS
- It is the most common chronic neurological condition diagnosed in young adults
- MS is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40
- 75% of people diagnosed are women
- MS varies significantly from person to person. For some, it is a disease that comes and goes in severity with periods of unpredictable relapse and remission. For others it means a progressive decline over time. For all, it is life changing.
- Symptoms vary between people and can come and go; they can include severe pain, walking difficulties, debilitating fatigue, partial blindness and thinking and memory problems.
- There is no known cause or cure.
MS Australia (MSA) is the national peak body for people living with MS in Australia. We work on behalf of all state and territory based organisations to provide a voice for people living with MS across the country.
Currently, MSA is working hard to:
o Support MS Research Australia to find better treatments and a cure for MS
o Seek improvements to the NDIS, especially during this implementation phase
o Establish a pilot project to ensure MS Nurse positions are in areas of greatest need
o Raise awareness, influence and lobby politicians and key decision-makers regarding the needs of people with MS and other progressive neurological conditions, for example, to improve the planning process for NDIS participants
o Partnering with other ‘like’ organisations’ on common issues – NDIS implementation, aged care reforms, young people in nursing homes, accessible housing
We are also delighted that the Australian Parliament has recognised World MS Day 2017 through a motion passed by the Senate on 10 May.
Senate Hansard for 10 May reads:
That the Senate-
(a) Notes that:
i. World MS Day takes place on Wednesday 31 May with the theme “Life with MS”, and
ii. MS Australia seeks to raise awareness of what life with MS is like
(b) Recognises that:
i. You are four times more likely to be diagnosed with MS if you are born in Tasmania compared to the national average and 7 times more likely than if you were born in North Queensland
ii. MS is the most common neurological condition diagnosed in young adults
iii. It is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40, and 75% of people diagnosed are women
iv. There is no known cause or cure
(c) Acknowledges the important role of families, friends and carers of people living with MS
(d) Confirms the need for continued action to:
i. increase the investment in research to find the cause and a cure for MS and;
ii. improve access to support from the first experience of symptoms, through diagnosis, treatment and ongoing disease management.
You can help us to mark World MS Day on Wednesday 31 May 2017.
· Visit the MS Australia website https://www.msaustralia.org.au/get-involved/world-ms-day-2017-wednesday-31st-may
· Check out our Facebook page
· Join us on Twitter: #LifewithMS
· And/or find a World MS Day event near you!