MS Connection, winter 2013-14
MS Connection Newsletter Raise your glass an d j o i n th e m ove m e nt ® Winter 2014 UPPER MIDWEST CHAPTER INSIDE 04 THIS ISSUE 07 Raise your glass, Join the Movement® 08 A care partner’s perspective 12 Research in pediatric MS Nominate a Walk MS ambassador 02 Studies show that early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can reduce future disease activity and improve quality of life for many people with multiple sclerosis. The National MS Society’s medical advisors recommend that people with MS talk with their health care professionals about using these medications and about effective strategies and treatments to manage symptoms. If you or someone you know has MS, please visit nationalMSsociety.org or call 800-582-5296 to learn more. MS connection: WINTER 2014 Can you help us? If you’re able to make an in-kind donation to the Upper Midwest Chapter, call 800-582-5296 (option 2). To see the full in-kind list, visit MSsociety.org and click “Donate.” n Painting supplies (paint brushes, rollers, painter’s tape, disposable paint trays) Home Depot gift cards Power pallet jack Bike rack Gift cards (restaurants, convenience stores, etc.) Concert and event tickets Jump drives (portable storage devices) n Lanyards and clear name badges Gift basket items for silent auctions Dry-erase board Greeting cards and envelopes Lawn mower n n n n n n n n n n National Multiple Sclerosis Society Upper Midwest Chapter 200 12th Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55415 800-582-5296 Board chair: Larry Schmid Chapter president: Holly Anderson Editor: Maggie Flanagan Design: Sue Schweitzer © 2014 National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Upper Midwest Chapter Information provided by the National MS Society is based upon professional advice, published experience and expert opinion. Information provided in response to questions does not constitute therapeutic recommendations or prescriptions. The Society recommends all questions and information be discussed with a personal physician. The Society does not endorse products, services or manufacturers. Such names appear here solely because they are considered valuable information. The Society assumes no liability for the use or contents or any product or service mentioned. mssociety.org | 800-582-5296 03 Letter from THE Board Chair Introducing new Board Chair Larry Schmid Greetings! I’m thrilled to be addressing the Upper Midwest Chapter as your new board chair. If you’re reading this, we already have something in common — we share a connection to multiple sclerosis. Connect with us online If you wish to receive MS Connection via email, please let us know at editor@MSsociety.org. Upper Midwest Chapter MSsociety.org editor@MSsociety.org Like us: facebook.com/ UpperMidwestMS Follow us: twitter.com/ UpperMidwestMS Watch us: tinyurl.com/ UpperMidwestVideos My daughter was diagnosed with MS more than 10 years ago at the age of 19. Shortly after her diagnosis, I got involved with the National MS Society by participating in fundraising events. Since then, I’ve also become a member of the Chapter Finance Committee and Board of Trustees. I’ve seen a lot of changes in the last decade — in advances made in research and in the way we do business and provide services to people living with MS. I’m proud of how far we’ve come, but I’m especially excited to see where the organization is headed. The Society is pioneering the most innovative time in the history of MS research, and already, the Upper Midwest Chapter is more than halfway to our $1 million goal of restricted research revenue by 2016. More than ever before, we’ll be calling upon leaders in the MS movement to step forward and help us in the work we do as an organization. Join me and thousands of others in making 2014 a landmark year! Whether you’re new to the work or consider yourself a Society all-star, your support is inspiring and makes me confident that MS could soon be a thing of the past. 04 Nominate a Walk MS ambassador Each one of us has a reason for participating in Walk MS. You may live with MS, or you may have a close family member or friend with the disease. Regardless of your reason, you have a unique story to tell. The National MS Society, Upper Midwest Chapter wants you to share your story. As we build excitement for 2014 events, weâ€™re seeking nominations for ambassadors who can put a MS connection: WINTER 2014 NEWS face on the disease and help raise MS awareness. Nominate yourself or nominate someone who inspires you! Ambassadors share their stories to engage and educate their communities, as well as help the Society succeed with Walk MS recruitment and fundraising goals. Ambassadors also promote MS Awareness Week and are featured on the Society website, Walk MS emails and media pitches, and give interviews as needed. Please complete the online form at tiny url.com/ Wa lk MSa mba ssadors2014 and submit your nomination by Jan. 1, 2014. Questions? Contact Anna at 612-335-7918 or firstname.lastname@example.org. n MS Scholarship applications due Jan. 15 MS Scholarship applications for students pursuing a post-secondary education are due Jan. 15, 2014. Enrollment information and the application form can be found at tinyurl.com/MSScholarshipProgram. This scholarship is for first-time college students only. Applicants will receive notice in late April 2014. Beginning in 2003, the MS Scholarship Program has helped thousands of students affected by MS achieve their post-secondary education goals in spite of the many financial challenges the disease can present. Scholarship candidates are chosen based on excellence in academic performance and leadership, as well as financial need. Jumpstart MS Scholarship The Jumpstart MS Scholarship, sponsored by Best Buy, is a $1,500 award designed to encourage ninth graders affected by MS to stay on track toward post-secondary education and remain active in their school and community. Applications are available at MSsociety.org and must be submitted by April 25. n mssociety.org | 800-582-5296 05 all over the nation will come together to share, educate and build awareness. We’ve made it easy for everyone touched by MS to be a part of this important week. Request an MS Awareness Week toolkit, which includes “how-to” guides, letter templates and other materials that will help amplify your voice in the MS movement. Request a toolkit by visiting MSsociety.org or emailing editor@MSsociety.org. n Request an MS Awareness Week toolkit Mark your calendars for the 2014 MS Awareness Week, March 3–9. During MS Awareness Week and throughout the month of March, people Online marketplace health insurance plans to take effect Jan. 1 As part of the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), health insurance plans can now be purchased using online marketplaces, also called exchanges. Plans are expected to take effect Jan. 1, 2014. For information about Minnesota’s new health insurance marketplace, MNSure, visit mn.gov/hix. For information about health insurance marketplaces in Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota, visit healthcare.gov. If you’re having trouble navigating the websites or have questions about MS and insurance plans, call an MS Navigator® at 800-582-5296 (option 1). If you’re on Medicare or you receive health care coverage through your employer, you won’t need the marketplaces, but you’ll still benefit. With more people having insurance, health care providers won’t have to charge higher prices to subsidize care for the uninsured. For more information on the ACA and its impact on people with MS, visit nationalMSsociety.org and search “Health Care Reform Resources.” n 06 Volunteer MS connection: WINTER 2014 Volunteer spotlight Mark Steffer Mark Steffer of Richfield, Minn., introduced himself to the National MS Society almost a decade ago by registering for a Bike MS event. Since then, he’s continued to support the organization’s work by fundraising as an event participant and working in hard-to-fill, specialty volunteer positions. Year after year, he’s proven to be a volunteer all-star, stepping in last-minute and completing additional tasks beyond expectation. Mark has shared his first-aid skills and drives trucks for chapter programs and fundraising events. He’s an absolute joy to work with — when jobs are tough and days are long, he consistently maintains a good attitude. He shows up early, stays late and goes out of his way to ensure other volunteers and participants are enjoying the experience. Thank you, Mark, for all you do! n Call for Walk MS Coordinators The Upper Midwest Chapter seeks 2014 Walk MS Coordinators for event sites in Hastings, Minn.; Bismarck and Grand Forks, N.D.; and Mason City, Iowa. Walk MS Coordinators work closely with Society staff to help with event logistics, secure sponsorship and implement marketing tactics. Responsibilities include identifying a safe, accessible event location, asking for in-kind and cash donations from local businesses, recruiting volunteers, working with local media, distributing marketing materials and more. Coordinators will work approximately three to 15 hours each week (up until the event date) and are rewarded $600 to $750 upon fulfillment of responsibilities. To learn more about the Walk MS Coordinator positions and to apply, visit the Job Postings page at MSsociety.org, or contact Cassi at 612-335-7950 or email@example.com. n mssociety.org | 800-582-5296 07 The On the Move Little Black Dress Luncheon will be hosted Wednesday, March 6, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fargo, N.D. For more information about luncheon and wine-tasting events, visit MSsociety.org and choose “Fundraising Events” in the left-hand navigation. If you’re interested in donating an auction item, contact Laurie at firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-335-7976 or 800-582-5296 (option 2). Raise your glass and Join the Movement EVENTS ® The National MS Society, Upper Midwest Chapter will host two unique events this winter to increase MS awareness and generate funds for cutting-edge research, as well as programs and services that improve the lives of people affected by the disease. Both events feature speakers, a silent and live auction, delicious food and the company of other people who are passionate about ending MS forever. A Taste of Generosity, to be held Saturday evening, Jan. 25, 2014, in Des Moines, Iowa, invites guests to sample extraordinary wines from all around the world, enjoy gourmet food and experience the excitement of an impressive silent and live auction. Last year, attendees raised more than $80,000. To learn more or purchase a seat for A Taste of Generosity 2014, call 800-582-5296 (option 2) or visit MSsociety.org. Volunteer as a committee member Help the Upper Midwest Chapter plan and execute the most successful events yet! Committee members secure auction items, contact local businesses to request in-kind or monetary support, assess event-day needs and more. To learn more about becoming a volunteer committee member, call us at 800-582-5296 (option 2). 08 A care partner’s perspective Living with MS MS connection: WINTER 2014 before sitting in her wheelchair again. I do for her everything she can’t do for herself. This includes bathing, dressing, injecting her MS medications, meal preparation, housecleaning and whatever else has to be done. What were some initial challenges you faced as a care partner? Elizabeth’s onset of MS was gradual. I think this gave me a chance to adapt, or to put it better, work out our system of doing things. I help her, but she helps me help her to the extent that she is able. Another transition is more subtle. Elizabeth doesn’t give up easily and her determination to accomplish what she sets out to do now becomes my doing driven by her determination. I take her where she needs to go, bring her what she needs to have within reach — all things she would normally do for herself. These are not the necessities of living with MS, but the activities and pursuits of an active woman whose MS is an obstacle that I help her overcome. I tell myself that the alternative — if I were not there making it happen for her — would be worse. She would lose interest in life and slouch toward irrelevance. How do you balance your personal needs? My needs are still needs. Left unmet, they could affect the level of care I give Elizabeth, and sometimes the line between needs and wants gets blurred. Regardless, anything that involves my being away from Elizabeth requires working out the logistics of her care while I’m gone. We’re fortunate to have a daughter Dick and Elizabeth Peterson Hundreds of caregivers across the Upper Midwest Chapter area were honored with gifts and words of thanks in the month of November — National Caregiver’s Appreciation Month. Caring for someone who lives with a chronic disease can be tremendously rewarding though difficult. Dick Peterson, whose wife, Elizabeth, was diagnosed with MS almost 15 years ago, took early retirement in 2005 to be Elizabeth’s fulltime care partner. Here, he shares his perspective. How do you provide care? Elizabeth’s disability is a right-side paralysis. She can stand and, with the help of a brace and specially equipped walker, can walk the length of our hallway, which is about 20 feet, mssociety.org | 800-582-5296 09 I’m continually trying to strike a reasonable balance between maintaining my autonomy as a man and doing what needs to be done for my wife’s care. This means not just caring for her physically, but emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. I accept that I cannot do it all perfectly or completely. There are times when she’s just going to have to sit this one out, or not take on this other project, or tell that person she can’t be there for them. And we laugh. When Elizabeth is bossing me around, I have to know it’s the stuff she would be doing if she could, but it can get out of hand. If she’s taking too long ending a conversation and we need to leave, I will push the “on” button of her wheelchair and direct the joy stick to come along. When she needs me to stand by her in a crowd — she feels vulnerable in her wheelchair — I’ll sing “Stand by Me.” Or I’ll sing the opening line to “Bridge over Troubled Water” when she’s feeling depressed or frustrated over her inability to do something. My singing is always good for a laugh. n and her family living nearby. We have close friends we know from church. And we have kind neighbors we view as backup. These are all resources we can call on to fill in when I’m away. I have to resist the idea that I’m the only one who can give her what she needs. And just because MS is there doesn’t mean everything has to go. I ride a motorcycle, serve on my church’s care committee, which gives appropriate care to others in crisis, and work on the vacation mountain home Elizabeth and I began as a dream before MS entered our lives. Do you have any advice for other care partners? When MS arrived, I decided that her disease was my disease, and I could no more avoid living with MS than she could. I hate MS. MS is my enemy; Elizabeth is not my enemy. If I allow emotion to distort my love for my wife, I could easily shift that hate toward her. No man likes to be directed in the what, where, when and how of his life. But that’s exactly what being a care partner is about. The Upper Midwest Chapter hosts several care partner programs throughout the year, including a Care Partner Social in March (see page 17). For more information about local care partner programs and resources, visit tinyurl.com/MSCarePartnerPrograms. 10 ADVOCACY MS connection: WINTER 2014 Be a digital MS activist In 2013, MS activists sent tens of thousands of emails, placed hundreds of phone calls, and made hundreds of in-person visits to members of Congress asking for their support on issues important to people with multiple sclerosis and their families. And now there are even more ways for MS activists to connect — online. difference in decisions made about important issues that affect people with disabilities. officials by posting on and liking their social media pages and by thanking them on Facebook or Twitter for their supportive actions. Take action. Build relationships with elected Recruit. Help grow the army of MS activists by encouraging others to Join the Movement®. Direct friends and family to our video at ntl.ms/YouCanBeAnMSActivist, or to nationalMSsociety.org/digiMSactivist. Driving change Digital MS activists — like all MS activists — want to drive change and do so by amplifying their voice and connecting with elected officials over social media. Visit nationalMSsociety.org/digiMSactivist to learn how to share your story, connect with other MS activists and build relationships through social media and email. Become a digital MS activist and help shape the conversations that drive change — it’s easier than it seems! And we promise, people will listen! n Dear Colleague “Dear Colleagues” are important tools in supporting legislation that impacts people with multiple sclerosis. The Society often helps compose these letters, which are then sent by one or two members of Congress to fellow members. This spring, Dear Colleagues were circulated in Congress to support $10 million in funding for the MS Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, $32 billion for the National Institutes of Health and $2.5 million for the Lifespan Respite Program. MS activists are working with other groups to preserve these funding levels for fiscal year 2014. To join the effort, visit nationalMSsociety.org/MSActivist. Get informed. Become part of the MS Activist Network. Receive e-newsletters and Action Alerts about important pieces of legislation. Send emails to legislators with just a few clicks of your mouse, and then build a small MS army by forwarding the Action Alert to friends and family. Speak out on issues important to you as a person affected by MS. Sharing your story can be the Rise up. Learn where your elected officials stand. mssociety.org | 800-582-5296 11 tax-deductible donation in the name of a friend or family member who’s affected by MS. It’s a meaningful way to honor a special person during the holidays. Your gift will continue to accelerate promising new research leads, fund life-changing programs and provide financial assistance for people with MS. When you make an honorary holiday contribution, we’ll send a personalized holiday letter to your friend or family member. Visit MSsociety.org to make your tax-deductible gift today, or contact Julie at 612-335-7953 or email@example.com. Please be sure to let us know your gift is a holiday honorary gift contribution and provide us with the name and address of the person you’re honoring. n Thoughtful giving this holiday season As the holiday season nears, so might the stress of giving thoughtful gifts to the people you love. Some families draw names or pass along wish lists; others unearth items for a “white elephant” exchange. The traditions, of course, vary, but undoubtedly, our sock drawers seem a little more crowded come January. This year, no matter how you celebrate the holidays, consider making a charitable, GIVING A continuing commitment Peach and Tom Robinson Despite Peach R obi n s on’s determ inat ion to keep multiple sclerosis from framing her future, it has — but in so many positive ways. “Once her diagnosis sank in, Peach took immediate aim at MS and sought out as much information as she could,” explained her husband, Tom. “Since there were not many treatments in 1975, Peach turned to the Society for information.” “I first joined a self-help group in Green Bay, Wisc., and before long, my entire family was involved in Walk MS,” Peach remembers. By 1992, the team included Peach and Tom’s three sons along with the couple’s brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and a grandmother — enough people that the Robinson family represented half of the Continued on page 15 12 Making advances in pediatric MS An increasing number of medical centers across the United States are collaborating on research on how and why multiple sclerosis happens in young people. Their work is already yielding valuable information on early MS triggers. MS connection: WINTER 2014 RESEARCH than in adults. These findings have helped make the steps forward more clear. “Now that these distinct features in younger patients have been identified, accurate diagnosis in children with MS is made easier, and early treatment can better prevent disability onset,” says Dr. Waubant. To learn more about pediatric MS and research in the field, visit nationalMSsociety.org/pediatricMS. A collaborative approach The Network of Pediatric MS Centers was initiated in 2006 through a grant from the National MS Society. Thanks to its multidisciplinary approach, researchers at participating institutions are gathering important data on the disease. “We’ve been able to unravel key features, such as distinct characteristics of the disease on the MRI and in the spinal fluid of patients younger than 11,” says Emmanuelle Waubant, Ph.D., professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the University of California – San Francisco (UCSF), which is currently running a large study aimed at pinpointing the triggers of pediatric MS. Thus far, the network has learned that MRIs of patients under 11 show larger and more poorly defined MS scars compared to adults, and that MS scars in young patients often go away within a few months, which is very rare in adults. They also observed that the spinal fluid of young patients can show more inflammation “Now that these distinct features in younger patients have been identified, accurate diagnosis in children with MS is made easier, and early treatment can better prevent disability onset.” What triggers MS? The Network of Pediatric MS Centers is currently recruiting 640 children with relapsing-remitting MS or clinically isolated syndrome (a single episode of MS-like symptoms) and 1,280 children without MS for a multiyear study to determine risk factors for developing MS. “We expect the study will provide precious pieces of information on risk factors for MS in general, and maybe help develop new treatments or preventative strategies,” says lead investigator Emmanuelle Waubant, Ph.D. Continued on page 15 mssociety.org | 800-582-5296 13 Timothy Coetzee, chief advocacy, services and research officer of the National MS Society. “Now, because of efforts by the research community as well as focused investments by the Society, we can see a future where people with MS will have treatments that could restore what’s been lost,” he added. Society Invests $7 Million in Research to Speed Repair of the Nervous System The National MS Society recently committed $7 million to support 15 new research projects focusing on innovative approaches to repair nerve-insulating myelin, which is destroyed by the MS disease process. Momentum in this challenging field has been building through the National MS Society’s 2005 global initiative and the Society’s Promise: 2010 campaign, when the Society funded four collaborative teams focusing on nervous system protection and repair. Achieving success would provide life-changing advances for people with MS and could stop disease progression and restore neurological function for people with all types of MS. “The idea of rebuilding the nervous system and protecting it from ongoing MS damage was just a dream a few years ago,” noted Dr. RESEARCH “The idea of rebuilding the nervous system and protecting it from ongoing MS damage was just a dream a few years ago.” These new investments — in both commercial therapeutics and academic research — expand the Society’s comprehensive portfolio to 88 research projects focusing on repairing the nervous system in people with MS, totaling $37.8 million. They will also contribute to the National MS Society’s No Opportunity Wasted (NOW) Campaign aimed toward research to stop the disease in its tracks, restore function and ultimately, end MS forever. MS research is moving forward faster than ever before. To learn more about these 15 new projects and other advances in MS research, visit nationalmssociety.org/research. n 14 C.H. Robinson wins Corporate Star Award Corporate spotlight MS connection: WINTER 2014 C.H. Robinson will be presented the Corporate Star Award at the annual Sylvies awards banquet Feb. 1, in Minneapolis, Minn. The Corporate Star Award is given to companies that support the Society financially and go above and beyond to help propel the MS movement forward. In 2013, Bike MS: MS 150 Ride title sponsor C.H. Robinson generously gifted the National MS Society nearly $168,000 in financial and in-kind support, plus donations from their Bike MS team, Team Robinson. Team Robinson is made up of more than 150 riders and raised $97,139 in 2013. C.H. Robinson truly went above and beyond when they stepped up in a time of need and provided fruit for all chapter events in Minnesota, which totaled to roughly $5,000 in in-kind support.Â Plus, C.H. Robinson supported the MS Scholarship Program in 2011, creating the C.H. Robinson Jeff Scovill Endowed Scholarship in memory of Jeff Scovill â€” a long-time employee of C.H. Robinson and dedicated Team Robinson bike rider. Thank you, C.H. Robinson, for your continued support of the National MS Society and the more than 17,000 people living with MS in the Upper Midwest Chapter area. n mssociety.org | 800-582-5296 15 Peach said. “Although there are many worthy organizations out there, the Society is one of the best and is very important to us. Being members of the Lawry Circle means we will be part of the cure, even after our lifetimes.” n This story was originally published in the Wisconsin Chapter’s MS Connection newsletter. Continued from page 11 (commitment) volunteer force at the Appleton Walk MS site that year. Three years later, the family set out to create the Green Bay Walk MS event to raise even greater awareness in the area. Peach joined the Board of Trustees for the Wisconsin Chapter soon afterward, and was named MS Mother of the Year for her ongoing fight against the disease. Recently, Peach and Tom decided to create a legacy that would express their family values and continued commitment to finding a cure for MS. In doing so, they joined the Society’s distinguished Lawry Circle, a program that recognizes people who remember the Society in their estate plans through a bequest, gift annuity or other deferred gift. Because the gifts represent an expression of lifetime commitment, the Lawry Circle has no minimum gift level and membership is for life. “The Lawry Circle is the ultimate way to give back and sustain the funding for future researchers and educational programs,” Stop, restore, end MS forever There has never been a more promising time to intensify your commitment to STOP disease progression, RESTORE lost function and END MS forever. For information on including the National MS Society in your estate plans and becoming a Lawry Circle member, please contact Jennifer at 612-335-7965 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Continued from page 12 (RESEARCH) For more information about local programs and resources for children with MS, contact Krista at 612-335-7937 or email@example.com. n This story was originally published in the Gateway Chapter’s MS Connection newsletter. The Society’s Network of Pediatric MS Centers has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study genetic and environmental risk factors for MS in children with MS. The study is currently enrolling children and teens with MS. To learn more about this study and participating locations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-514-2476. 016 Chapter programs MS connection: WINTER 2014 Upcoming programs Programs listed are free unless otherwise noted. For more information or to register for a listed program, visit the Chapter Calendar at MSsociety.org or call 800-582-5296 (option 1). Teen Summits (Held in conjunction with MS Annual Conferences) Each MS Annual Conference includes a social event for 13- to 18-year-olds who have a parent with MS or who live in a household with a person who has MS. At the Summits, participants will be able to connect with other teens who understand the challenges of MS, provide input on chapter offerings, learn ways to get involved and have fun! Registration is required. MS Annual Conferences MS Annual Conference, Minneapolis Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington 20s and 30s St. Cloud happy hour Thursday, Jan. 30, 6 p.m. Blue Line Sports Bar & Grill 1101 Second St. S., Sartell, MN The 20s and 30s St. Cloud MS group meets the last Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. in various locations. Have fun, enjoy tasty appetizers and build meaningful connections! To RSVP, contact Dennis at 320-237-5447 or email@example.com; or Jackie at 320-529-9814 or firstname.lastname@example.org. MS Annual Conference, Fargo Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 Hilton Garden Inn MS Annual Conference, Sioux Falls Saturday, March 1, 2014 Ramkota MS Annual Conference, Altoona Saturday, March 15, 2014 Prairie Meadows Event & Conference Center Attend an annual conference to learn more about the important work the Society is doing, discuss the progress thatâ€™s been made and whatâ€™s in store for the future. mssociety.org | 800-582-5296 017 Care Partner happy hour Thursday, March 20, 5–7 p.m. Good Day Café 5410 Wayzata Blvd., Minneapolis, MN Join us for an opportunity to connect with others who understand the experience of caring for someone who has MS in a charming, casual setting! Guests are responsible for purchasing their own food and beverages. There is no fee for this program. Making Treatment and Lifestyle Decisions: Managing Benefits and Risks Tuesday, Feb. 4, 6:30 p.m. Cloquet Gospel Tabernacle 1400 Washington Ave., Cloquet, MN Attend monthly meetings with the Cloquet MS group to learn more about specific topics related to multiple sclerosis. This February, discuss MS treatment and lifestyle decisions, build valuable relationships with group members and have fun! For additional information or to RSVP, contact Karen at 218-499-8105, 218-213-6334 or email@example.com. Majestic Shores Resort May 3–11 Camp Courage, Maple Lake, MN Majestic Shores Resort, held in two sessions, is a five-day retreat for adults with MS held at Camp Courage on the shores of beautiful Cedar Lake near Maple Lake, Minn. Meet new friends and reconnect with old ones while enjoying outdoor leisure activities like pontoon boat rides, fishing and music by the lake, as well as indoor activities like crafts, education workshops and games. The program options are plentiful and fun. Guests may also just spend time relaxing and socializing. The program fee is $200 per guest, and fee adjustments are available upon request. Applications must be received by March 1. Couple’s social Thursday, Feb. 13, 6:30–9 p.m. Jimmy’s Conference Center 3565 LaBore Road, Vadnais Heights, MN Looking for a Valentine’s Day idea? People with MS and their partners are invited to enjoy a night out at Jimmy’s Restaurant in Vadnais Heights. In addition to enjoying live jazz, dessert and coffee, connect with your partner and meet other couples who understand life with MS. Cost is $5 per couple, including tax and gratuities. Attendees must purchase their own beverages. Check-in will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The registration deadline is Feb. 5. 018 Anywhere, anytime programs Midwest Teleconference Series Each month, an MS specialist provides up-to-date information on a specific topic in a one-hour teleconference format. To learn more or register, visit MSsociety.org or call 800-582-5296 (option 1). Monday, Dec. 9, 7–8 p.m. C.T. “Stress and MS” with Dr. Albert Anieskewicz, Psychiatrist and Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University Monday, Jan. 13, 7–8 p.m. C.T. “MS and Men’s Sexual Health” with Dr. Douglas Woo, Neurologist, Lancaster Neurology, Ohio Monday, Feb. 10, 7–8 p.m. C.T. “Newly Diagnosed” with Dr. Adam Carpenter, University of Minnesota MS Center Monday, March 10, 7–8 p.m. C.T. “How MS Affects Vision” with Dr. Jonathan Calkwood, Neurologist, Minneapolis Clinic of Neurology MS connection: WINTER 2014 MSConnection.org Make meaningful connections and access the most up-to-date resources. Multiple sclerosis destroys connections. It disconnects the mind from the body and people from CONNECTION each other. But what KILLS MS if we could defy this disease with the very thing it seeks to destroy: connections. Would we share more knowledge? More questions? More answers? More hope? Maybe, by connecting enough small victories, we could win some really big ones. MS KILLS CONNECTION My Life, My MS, My Decisions This series of online classes will help you boost your decision-making power. Sometimes it can feel like other people are making your decisions for you — these classes keep you in the driver’s seat. To learn more, visit nationalMSsociety.org or call 800-582-5296 (option 1). >< MS Connection — an online community that’s all about making meaningful connections when, where and how you want — provides easy access to the best content and resources the MS community can bring you. You’ll learn about the topics that are most important to you, connect with people you want to connect with and have expert MS information right at your fingertips. Visit MSconnection.org, complete your community profile, find new connections, join and start groups and discussions and more. If you have any questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. mssociety.org | 800-582-5296 019 MS Annual Conference Saturday, Feb. 8, Fargo, ND Learn more about MS research, progress we’ve made and what’s in store for the future. Plus, connect with people who live with MS and local resources in your community. Calendar of Events To learn more about the events listed below, visit the Chapter Calendar at MSsociety.org or call 800-582-5296. Couple’s social Thursday, Feb. 13, Vadnias Heights, MN Meet other couples affected by MS, and enjoy live jazz, dessert and coffee. Taste of Generosity Saturday, Jan. 25, Des Moines, IA An evening of gourmet food, extraordinary wine and a live and silent auction. MS Annual Conference Saturday, March 1, Sioux Falls, SD Learn more about MS research, progress we’ve made and what’s in store for the future. Plus, connect with people who live with MS and local resources in your community. 20s and 30s happy hour Thursday, Jan. 30, St. Cloud, MN Connect with other people in their 20s and 30s who live with MS in the St. Cloud area. MS Annual Conference Saturday, Feb. 1, Minneapolis, MN Learn more about MS research, progress we’ve made and what’s in store for the future. Plus, connect with people who live with MS in your community and help us recognize leaders in the MS movement. On the Move Little Black Dress Luncheon Saturday, March 6, Fargo, ND Enjoy good food, inspirational speakers and a live and silent auction with other people who are passionate about ending MS. Making Treatment and Lifestyle Decisions Tuesday, Feb. 4, Cloquet, MN Join people living with MS in the Cloquet, Minn., community to learn about making the right treatment and lifestyle decisions. MS Annual Conference Saturday, March 15, Altoona, IA Learn more about MS research, progress we’ve made and what’s in store for the future. Plus, connect with people who live with MS and local resources in your community. FREE MATTER FOR THE BLIND OR HANDICAPPED 200 12th Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55415-1255 Walk to create a world free of multiple sclerosis Walk MS: South Dakota Saturday, May 3 Walk MS: Minnesota Sunday, May 4 Be Inspired. Get connected. Walk MS. Walk MS connects people living with MS and those who care about them. It is an experience unlike any other — a day to come together, to celebrate the progress we’ve made, and to show the power of our connections. Walk MS: Iowa Saturday, May 17 Walk MS: North Dakota Saturday, Sept. 6 Register & Start fundraising today: myMSwalk.org or 800-582-5296. Nonprofit US Postage Twin Cities, MN Permit No. 1759 PAID 200 12th Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55415-1255 Walk to create a world free of multiple sclerosis Walk MS: South Dakota Saturday, May 3 Walk MS: Minnesota Sunday, May 4 Be Inspired. Get connected. Walk MS. Walk MS connects people living with MS and those who care about them. It is an experience unlike any other â€” a day to come together, to celebrate the progress weâ€™ve made, and to show the power of our connections. Walk MS: Iowa Saturday, May 17 Walk MS: North Dakota Saturday, Sept. 6 Register & Start fundraising today: myMSwalk.org or 800-582-5296.