Friday, March 20, 2009

MS and I are Alive and Well

I haven't written anything in a while about Multiple Sclerosis--humorous or otherwise. Here's a mini wrap up of how the disease is doing--in me and the world.

  • MS is running scared now. President Obama reversed the insane ban on embryonic stem cell research and the war on science is over. Listen to this NPR Story for more info. Maybe I won't have to travel as far for a stem cell vacation. It seems that even people way closer to the center than I am who use words like "unborn" to describe fetal tissue, understand that millions of living, breathing human beings will benefit from this important research. Check it out.
  • Montel Williams appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show to talk about living with MS. While I thought it was very important to bring MS to such a public forum, I objected to the description of MS as a "life-threatening" neurological disease. I felt incredibly grateful when I heard about Montel's constant pain. I would NEVER trade my visual impairment for pain. Check it out for yourself.
  • The BBC has been covering a story about a woman with Multiple Sclerosis. Apparently, she brought a case in the British courts that would enable her and her husband to travel to Switzerland to commit suicide. I'll let you hear it straight from the woman's mouth. Here's a link to the video. I do not live in this woman's body nor do I have the knowledge to comment medically on her case but, I resent MS being moved into the category of diseases that are so horrible that people would rather die than live with them. These kinds of stories are why, when I tell people I have MS, they say stupid stuff like "Oh no. What are you going to do? What about your kids?" or tell me about their aunt her "died" of MS 20 years ago.
  • I've heard a lot of talk about MS meds that will not require an injection. When searching for updated news today, I found this story about buckeyball technology used to create new meds. Interesting although I strongly object to the characterization of MS as a disease that slowly paralyzes and then kills. I also found a company in Berkeley, California that has filed for a patent for oral MS meds. So...what's next? What comes between patent and production/sale? Big Pharma may not be angelic but they are the ones with the money to make a difference. Merck is funding new research, too. Hope their merger doesn't slow it down.
  • There are also research going on to reverse nerve damage caused by MS. A drug used to fight Leukemia is showing promising results.
  • March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. There are many different activities going on, including education, events, and activities. If you are looking for a way to raise awareness and money, I would be happy to provide you with an opportunity to do so. I have formed a team -- Team Lazy -- to participate in the Boston MS Walk on April 5. Join the team or make a donation.
Happy 1st day of Spring!

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