Category Archives: Fundraising Info

Local MS Walk

I was recently away on vacation visiting my parents and aunt and uncle down in Florida, and I felt pretty good: I maintained a nice steady pace and I sorta kept up with the seniors!… Things have been about the same (healthwise) for a while now and I like to think that no news is GOOD news, hence the lapse in website writing and the increase in meeting the outside world with grace and gratitude. 

I’m falling into a pleasant groove here with some library and hospital volunteer work getting me out of the house and some freelance writing ventures keeping me employed and satisfied. I’m also in the process of applying for the Master’s of Social Work degree (MSW) through a couple of universities. My primary interest is in a college in Maine that offers an accredited– VERY RARE– distance education program with a part-time, in-person clinical component. I think I can handle this and conserve my energy until the final clinical rotation.

So things have been peaceful, steady, and sane here for the past few months. Whew!!

This past Sunday my husband Bill and I got out and volunteered at our local MS walk. We’ve been doing this for four years now, and the vibes and the camaraderie are always upbeat and supportive. I like to help run the registration table and assist participants with forms and donations and Bill finds himself getting shirts for the walkers who raise a certain level of money.

This year I also had the opportunity to meet a newly-diagnosed girl (she appeared to be in her twenties) who had a rough first attack. Her mom sat next to me at the registration table and she came over with her small walking group to talk. Jenni wasn’t participating in the walk herself because she was rebounding from leg paralysis and was happy to be out of a wheelchair and using a cane. Both mom and daughter marveled that I “looked so good” for someone who had battled MS for nearly 12 years. I had to confide that not everyone has a bad first attack and I was one of many patients with a LONNNNNNNG and winding road to the proper diagnosis. Even though Jenni and I had different stories, we both had similar symptoms– as do many MSers– and we related to one another. I then invited her to attend the next local in-person support group in our area. A guy from high school got me to it, and I wanted to “pay it forward” and get her to consider. So Jenni and I may hopefully meet again.

NMSS Walk / Bike Events and Current Survey

Some of the current MS fundraisers sponsored by the National MS Society (U.S.) include the Walk MS event and the Bike MS event, which are both coming into full swing. Both raise many thousands of dollars towards MS Society programs and MS research. For the past several years I’ve volunteered at both of the events: I’m not much of a fundraiser but I definitely can donate my time to help the local events run smoothly. To find out about donating, fundraising, or volunteering for either of these national events visit:

There is also a current survey in which the NMSS asks for MS writers’ / bloggers’ input about online communications and information. If you are an online writer, feel free to have your say:

The Circle of Ten

I was just visiting a great MS patient resource,’s multiple sclerosis site, and I read about a fantastic way for people to simply and effectively raise money for MS research. The idea is called “The Circle of Ten”, created by a family who was touched by multiple sclerosis. The theory is quite simple (and ingenious): a person employs ten friends/family members to each collect $10 donations from 10 other people. So 10 people x 100 dollars in donations (each) = $1,000. What a great way to raise a cool grand! This idea is perfect for the coming MS Walk and MS Bike events.

To read more about this idea, visit Julie Stachowiak’s MS site at

MS News Updates

It’s been a bit of a crazy week here at the Jersey shore, and so I’m posting a catch-all of latest news. Hope this finds you well and happy:

Joan’s Next MS Chat Room Session: This Friday, Oct 23rd

Come enjoy a Halloween party with Joan and her fellow chatters. The session is from 7 – 9pm, Eastern Standard Time. All are welcome, and more info and login instructions are available at her blog A Short in the Cord……… Joan’s chat is THE BEST!!

Glenn Close’s Mental Health Website

I learned about this site just this morning, as actress Glenn Close and her sister Jessie told of Jessie’s long battle with bipolar disorder on ABC-TV’s The View.  Having struggled with depression since multiple sclerosis altered my life course, I am a HUGE advocate for mental health and bringing knowledge to the forefront. So many people hide their emotional problems because of embarrassment/shame, misunderstanding, and doubt. I seek the ongoing help of a social worker and a psychiatrist— I take an antidepressant— and I want to pass this helpful site on to you and anyone else you might know who is afflicted by emotional illness. There’s help and support:

MS Strength has Reached its (First) Goal of $100 in Ad Revenue

It’s taken over a year, but MS Strength has reached the $100 threshold needed for Google to pay out ad revenue. 100% of the profits will be donated to the National MS Society (the U.S.), who has a high priority of using funds towards MS research. The thermometer is set back to $0, and the next donation will be made at the next $100 threshold. Thanks to those who helped the thermometer rise; it feels great to take this money and donate it to our MS cause. A future post will tell about the actual donation, as I am currently waiting for Google’s check. :)

A New Website for MSers Which Chronicles 5 Patients’ Journeys and Distributes Information about Disease-Modifying MS Medications

I, along with 4 other MS webwriters ( Lisa, Julie, Kimberly, and Bill) have been hired to video blog our multiple sclerosis stories—along with personal journal entries— at a new website sponsored by EMD Serono, a maker of one of the current disease-modifying MS medications and a future MS medication. The site focuses on our stories and it also provides drug information to those who subscribe. As a HUGE advocate for newly-diagnosed patients learning about and trying disease-modifying medications, I’m proud to have been tapped and I feel myself helping others to weigh their medication options, no matter what the brand and the final decision. Thanks, EMD Serono, for allowing the 5 of us to accomplish this:

A Local Piece of News About Officials “Spinning Wheels for a Day”

This story caught my eye— I found it at the Nat’l MS Society’s FB page. Interesting, and it gives those in charge a chance to see what others with adaptive devices must navigate on a daily basis. I doff my hat to you, fellow resident Jackie Jackson: The Star Ledger’s Oct 15th Middlesex County News

Grapesurfer Wine Fundraisers for MS

I came across this awesome Massachusetts wine distributor that custom-makes fundraising wines and wine packages for interested organizations. Grapesurfer has been around for several years and has collaborated with the likes of David Ortiz, Dan Marino, Ken Griffey, Jr.,  AND several of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s regional chapters.

The founders, Andrew Graff and John Corcoran, reveal the process: they are able to buy the wine varietals well below market price (due to good will amongst distributors/wineries/suppliers), allowing organizations to receive 100% of the online retail profits towards their fundraisers. These guys have found an innovative— and tasty way — to let consumers donate to their chosen charities as well as to start fundraising efforts for their own organizations.

World MS Day 2009

Today marks the FIRST World MS Day, which is an international attempt to unite the world in MS awareness, knowledge, political action, and camaraderie.

Here are some ways that nations are getting involved:

  • Argentina: requested day be formally recognized by government
  • Australia: reception in Queensland
  • Belgium, Canada, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland: “Roll for MS”
    sponsored cycle/ motorbike event
  • Denmark: fundraising event
  • Finland: city wide awareness-raising event
  • Hungary: event in parliament
  • India: human chain awareness-raising events
  • Ireland: activity to promote member development
  • Italy: moved national awareness week to include the day
  • Netherlands: Global Dinner Party/ Second Life event
  • Norway: research conference in Oslo
  • Romania: Global Dinner Party
  • Slovakia: Dignified Life with MS seminar
  • Sri Lanka: week long awareness raising events
  • Sweden: fundraising event
  • Turkey: concert and gala dinner

Interesting Tidbits:

***The United States National MS Society urges everyone to petition their federal legislators to support comprehensive and accessible health care coverage that includes the Society’s Health Care Reform Principles. This would ensure that all Americans with MS get proper medical care.

For more news, events, and information about World MS Day, visit

Walk MS

It’s April and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Walk MS fundraising event is in full swing. There are many opportunities for walking participants to raise money and support MS research. You can walk as an individual or as part of a team (both as family/friends or as a corporate group.) There are also many volunteering opportunities available to help make the walk days run smoothly. Access these links for more information:

Find a Walk MS near you: This page helps walkers find local MS walks in their areas. There are regional and zip code breakdowns that make the process easy. There are links to register for walks, sponsor walkers, and also to donate.

Challenge Walk: Find one of the nine national challenge walks, which log 30-50 miles over a 2 to 3 day timeframe.

Send a Walk MS eCard: This page allows a participant to email family, friends, coworkers, and so on about registering to walk, joining teams, sponsoring him or her, and thanking sponsors after a walk.

My Participant Center (visit your chapter website and login): A place to email fundraising materials to sponsors, check fundraising progress, and communicate with other team members.

Team Up for More Fun: Find out how to create a team and be a Walk MS team captain. Tips and tools are included.

Volunteer: This is the route I’ve taken for the past three years. I help set up and man the registration tables, then welcome walkers back for the appreciation barbeque. Learn how you can volunteer at a walking event.

Facebook Application Lists MS Walk/Bike Events

I recently received this email about a new Facebook application that helps readers find MS walking and biking events. It is for current Facebook users, although starting an account is very simple. Fellow MS bloggers as well as MS communities can be found on Facebook.

Jen –

My name is Brian Reid and – in the interest of full disclosure – I work with Serono on their MS LifeLines program. Last week, they launched a Facebook application that is designed to help people find National Multiple Sclerosis Society-sponsored walks and bike rides and connect with others who are also participating. There’s no commercial subtext here – the intent is to raise awareness.

The application is online here:

I know that you’re already involved in an event, and we want to make it as easy as possible for everyone who participates (or who wants to participate) to plug into the community, so anything you can do to share with your readers would be appreciated.

Thanks for the great blogging,

Brian Reid

Media Director | WeissComm Partners

P 703.402.3626 | Skype brianreid

“Healthcare Agency of the Year”

MS Awareness Week: March 2 – 8, 2009

The National MS Society (in the United States) hosts an MS Awareness Week to raise consciousness about the disease. Many activities— already in motion but spotlighted during this time— are open to anyone who’d like to get involved. This year’s theme is MOVE IT:

Walk MS: the annual walking event that recruits thousands of participants who raise pledges for the Society. People participate as individuals, as family and friends groups, and as corporate groups.

Bike MS: this ongoing event recruits cyclists— both novices and Olympic-worthy athletes— for routes of varying difficulties. Again, pledges are raised and teams can be formed.

Volunteering: chapters need volunteers for the above-mentioned activities (I’ve volunteered several times for both and have enjoyed the camraderie and the new people I’ve met) as well as in-office support for local chapters.

Advocating: MS advocates are sought to push for government funds for MS research. Anyone can advocate.

Donating: donations for the MS Society are sought year-round.

Make Your Mark: write on the “MS Wall” and leave your personal note.

Post a Video to YouTube: make your own statement and post to the Society’s YouTube page.

****So much more: check out all the other ways to spread MS AWARENESS this week. And remember to be AWARE year-round.

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