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SUMMER 2013 MICHIGAN CHAPTER

MS CONNECTION NEWSLETTER REAL ESTATE ONE GETS BEHIND FATHER’S FIGHT AGAINST MS BY SH AW N W R IGHT

When Steve Katsaros’ daughter, Dianna Darling, was diagnosed 10 years ago with multiple sclerosis, a myriad of thoughts went through his head.

STEVE KATSAROS AND HIS DAUGHTER DIANNA DARLING AT BIKE MS, 2011

“When something like that happens, it’s an eyeopener for everybody,” Katsaros said. “In our family, we don’t have any history of MS. We’ve had a very close friend who was diagnosed with MS who went to the same church as us. (But) all you have is a visual of this person that as she went through life got progressively worse. She has been in a wheelchair for the last 20 years.” “That’s the mental stigma you have, especially when you don’t know - so many people

don’t know the effect of the disease and the ramifications.” Darling, 34, made it a priority to not let the diagnosis slow her down. “It’s part of me being a little, stubborn Greek girl. That’s just how I’ve always been,” Darling said. “The words ‘no’ or ‘I can’t handle or do it’ hasn’t been acceptable. I knew that I would be worse if I went into the ‘woe is me’ stage.” (Continued on page 12)

INSIDE 2 THIS ISSUE

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

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RESEARCH: EXERCISE AND THE BRAIN

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PROGRAMS & SERVICES: SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

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FUNDRAISING: WOMEN ON THE MOVE LUNCHEON


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MS CONNECTION: SUMMER 2013

ON THE COVER: REAL ESTATE ONE

Mailing Label Changes

Please check the appropriate box below, correct the label then return to National MS Society, MI Chapter q Name change or misspelled q Address change q Remove from mailing list q Received more than one copy q Please send me my MSConnection via e-mail. My e-mail address is: ____________________________

CONNECT WITH US ONLINE: Michigan Chapter nationalMSsociety.org/mig info@mig.nmss.org Like us: facebook.com/nmssmi facebook.com/walkMSmi facebook.com/bikeMSmi facebook.com/golfMS facebook.com/davinci Follow us: twitter@nmssmi.com Watch us: youtube.com/mignmss

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” – Nelson Henderson The above quote has always been one of my favorites, and it is in this spirit that I write this article in memory of two special men who each had a tremendous impact on our work to create a world free of MS. Our dear friend and longtime Chapter Board of Trustees member, Freerk (Fred) Schaafsma, passed away on Nov. 8, 2012 in Traverse City, following a heroic year-long battle with brain cancer. Fred graduated from General Motors Institute and went on to an executive career with GM. He was passionate about cars, bikes and the outdoors. As a 50-year immigrant from the Netherlands, he told everyone he “lived the American Dream Plus.” Anyone who knew him could sense his true enthusiasm for life and helping others. Fred joined our Chapter Board back in 2002 after several years of riding in the MS 150 Bike Tour and serving as a successful and enthusiastic captain for Team GM. Fred’s wife Rebecca lives with MS and he was always a passionate supporter of all of our efforts. Fred served as Chairman for the Traverse City Walk MS event in addition to his many other roles of service to the Chapter. Fred was also very involved in many other charitable activities in the Traverse City area and his passing was a great loss to the MS community as well as many others. I personally learned so much from Fred during the time we spent together. He was a mentor to many of us here at the Chapter and a friend to all, and he is greatly missed. I also pay tribute to our colleague and friend, Jim Gismondi, who passed away peacefully on April 2, 2013 after a brief illness.


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Jim’s passing was particularly tragic as he had become the new Chair of our Chapter Board of Trustees just weeks earlier. Jim was a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College and the Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania, earning an MBA in 1974. Jim spent the next 25 years with Ford Motor Company in various management and executive positions. After retiring from Ford in 1999, he worked as an auto industry consultant and strategic planner for IBM, BBDO Detroit, Ardent Learning, and SAP Business Solutions. Jim first joined our cause in 2003 as a member of the steering committee for the da Vinci Awards gala. Although he had no known MS in his family, Jim was an ardent supporter and tireless volunteer for our Chapter.

NATIONAL MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS SOCIETY Michigan Chapter 21311 Civic Center Drive Southfield, MI 48076 1-800-344-4867 Chairman: Michael Brady Chapter President: Elana Sullivan Editor: Sarah Borst Design: Graphinity, Inc. © 2013 National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Michigan Chapter

I know Jim was so honored and excited for his new role as Board Chair where he planned to continue working toward the ultimate mission of finding a cure for MS. On a daily basis, I miss Jim’s passion and incredible sense of humor. During this summer season, I wish each of you health and happiness, and the opportunity to make your mark on the world as Fred and Jim did, working with us in partnership to create a world free of MS. Warm regards,

Elana Sullivan Chapter President

Information provided by the 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 National Multiple Sclerosis Society recommends that 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 of any product or service mentioned.


4 LIVING WITH MS

HEAT AND COGNITION BY JULIE STACHOW I AK, PhD

Results from a new study show a link between heat and impaired cognitive function in people with multiple sclerosis. I bet that many, if not most, of you reading this will think, “This is news? I could have told anyone that my thinking (along with other things) is impaired in hot weather.� However, this study actually is a big deal, because it is the first time that such a link has been formally demonstrated.

MS CONNECTION: SUMMER 2013

nationalMSsociety.org/heatcognition. This is important information for many reasons. The study scientists pointed out that this type of seasonality could affect clinical trial results. For instance, if people enrolled in a trial in the summer and were followed for six months through fall and into the winter, a drug to treat cognitive dysfunction (or many other MS symptoms, really) could seem like it was working, when in fact, some of the improvement might simply be due to temperatures dropping.

WHAT YOU CAN DO That is interesting from a scientific perspective,

THE NUMBERS Researchers from the Kessler Foundation, with funding from the National MS Society and the National Institutes of Health, compared cognitive functioning under different temperature conditions in 40 people with MS and 40 people without MS. The data showed that cognitive functioning in people with MS was more affected by hot weather than cognitive functioning in people without MS. On cognitive testing, people with MS performed significantly better on cooler days than they did on warmer days, while people without MS performed the same regardless of the outside temperature. For more information on the study, which was published in Neurology, visit

COOL LIQUIDS CAN HELP BEAT THE HEAT


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but what does this information about heat and cognition mean for people with MS? There are no treatments that are effective for cognitive dysfunction, but there are some things we might be able to do to help ourselves. Many of us have strategies we use to stay cool and avoid overheating. Here are a few additional tips you may want to consider:

don’t simultaneously fix dinner, surf the Internet and keep an eye on your toddler. You may think you have no time for only doing one thing at a time – trust me, you will get more done and it will be done better if you don’t try to do it all at once.

ASK FOR ACCOMMODATIONS AT WORK

Treat yourself kindly. Yes, I get mad at my brain for slowing down in the summer and I have gotten frustrated that my work doesn’t get done and I forget things and on top of it, I feel lousy for a good chunk of the year. Guess what? That hasn’t helped me one bit. In fact, it makes everything worse when I let myself get flustered. When I feel these emotions coming on, I try to slow down my reactions and figure out how to make my immediate situation better. Sometimes, dropping everything and having a big cold glass of iced tea is enough to derail the negativity. Other times, it may take a little more effort, like taking a cool shower or making a phone call to a friend.

You may want to explain to your employer that the hot weather makes things a little harder for you and that you want to do a good job, but need a little help. Be specific in what you want, such as asking for a fan or cooler working area, and why you need it. You could also ask for people to communicate with you in writing, so that you wouldn’t miss anything that might be mentioned in passing – document requests in email or using a shared online calendar might help. For more information about accommodations at work, visitnationalMSsociety.org/accommodations or call an MS Navigator® at 1-800-344-4867.

FIX YOUR WORLD I think many of us are our own enemy when it comes to cognitive dysfunction. We try to multitask while living in a world with constant noise and clutter, which leads to stress and frustration when we can’t get everything done or we forget things. Try this: Clean up your house. Turn off the television. Focus on one thing at a time. When you talk on the phone, just concentrate on the conversation –

BE PATIENT

Diagnosed with MS in 2004, Julie Stachowiak is the author of The Multiple Sclerosis Manifesto and ms.about.com. Originally published at blog. nationalMSsociety.org. For more tips on how to beat the heat, visit nationalMSsociety.org/beattheheat.


6 RESEARCH

EXERCISE & THE BRAIN BY BRUCE BEBO, PHD

Emerging evidence across the board suggests that exercise doesn’t just keep us physically fit, it helps our brain function better, too. Scientific presentations on exercise, rehabilitation and quality of life issues at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in March suggest this holds true for people living with multiple sclerosis, as well.

MS CONNECTION: SUMMER 2013

Another study examined the potential of longer-term aerobic exercise to build endurance in people with MS. This study involved 60 people split into two groups: people who experienced fatigue and people who did not. Both groups performed individualized endurance exercises using treadmills. After six months, both groups showed improved oxygen consumption. However, those who started out with fatigue showed improvement in their fatigue scores, but it took at least nine months of the program to see a difference. So while you may not feel the effects of exercise at first, persistence can pay off!

EXERCISES FOR THE BRAIN WHILE YOU MAY NOT FEEL THE EFFECTS OF EXERCISE AT FIRST, PERSISTENCE CAN PAY OFF!

Some very interesting data illustrating how the brain reorganizes to adapt to MS damage was presented by a research team from the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy. This team looked at the impacts of a

EXERCISE’S GOOD EFFECTS A small study from National Multiple Sclerosis Society-supported scientists at the Kessler Research Institute in New Jersey found that 30 minutes of aerobic exercise done three times a week over three months improved memory and increased the volume of the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved with memory. These preliminary results will hopefully encourage further studies that will yield more definitive conclusions and maybe even recommendations.

WHAT’S GOOD FOR THE BODY MAY BE GOOD FOR THE BRAIN


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12-week computer- assisted course that focused on training to increase memory and attention (the course was previously reported to improve attention and executive thinking abilities). Using functional MRI, which allows a realtime glimpse of the brain at work, they found indicators that brain activity had increased in specific areas. This improvement appeared to persist at least six months after the training was completed.

IT’S EXCITING TO THINK THAT ACTIONS WE CAN TAKE, SUCH AS SOME MENTAL AND PHYSICAL TRAINING, CAN POSSIBLY SLOW THE PROGRESSION OF MS. Researchers from Milan and from Kessler also reported that people with MS with more “brain reserve” (larger brain size) and more “cognitive reserve” (increasing the ability to withstand or postpone MS-associated decline in cognition with activities such as doing puzzles or playing music) were at lower risk for cognitive changes associated with brain lesions. Even when brain size is accounted for, those with more cognitive reserve appear to have lower risk for cognitive changes. There’s nothing any of us can do about the size of our brains. But growing evidence suggests that people may be able to build cognitive reserve by engaging in enrichment activities (Words with Friends anyone?). It’s exciting to think

that actions we can take, such as some mental and physical training, can actually alter brain circuits, improve brain activity and possibly help slow the progression of MS. Summaries of the meeting can be viewed on the AAN’s website at abstracts2view.com/ aan, or visit nationalMSsociety.org/research for an overview of MS-related research presented at the meeting. n Bruce Bebo, PhD, is associate vice president of Discovery Research at the National MS Society, and was previously a research immunologist focusing on the influence of sex hormones on MS. He is a passionate Society volunteer, fundraiser and advocate, fueled in part by the fact that his mother has lived with MS for more than 30 years. Read more of Dr. Bebo’s blog posts about research presentations at the annual AAN meeting at blog.nationalMSsociety.org, where this was originally published.

RESOURCES For more on cognitive issues and MS, visit nationalMSsociety.org/cognition.To learn more about exercise and MS, visit nationalMSsociety.org/exercise, or call 1-800-344-4867 to find out about exercise programs in the area.


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PROGRAMS AND SERVICES

MEET OUR 2013 SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS Alexandra Bodnariuk, Courtney Leppek and Julie Vanderberg are the recipients of the Michigan Chapter’s 2013 scholarship awards. Michigan high school seniors who have multiple sclerosis (MS) or a parent with MS are eligible to apply for scholarships. Also, high school graduates (or GED) of any age who have MS or a parent with MS are eligible. Applicants must also plan to attend an accredited post-secondary school for the first time. After graduating from Lakeview High School in St. Clair Shores, Alexandra will attend Oakland Community College to pursue her Bachelors in Social Work degree. Courtney is headed to Central Michigan University to begin working towards a degree in neuroscience. In June she will be picking up her diploma from Caseville High School in Caseville. Julie attended Lakeshore Christian Academy in Grand Haven and was home schooled her senior year. She is looking forward to starting Bob Jones University. She will major in pre-med. The annual scholarship program for 2014 opens on October 1, 2013. Amounts vary from year to year, but this year’s Michigan

recipients received a $1000 award. To learn more about the National MS Society Scholarship Program call 800-344-4867 or visit our website at nationalmssociety.org.

CAMP SCHOLARSHIPS With summer beginning, we know that longer days and sunshine are ahead. Many people use this time to enjoy the outdoors, travel, and take in all summer has to offer. A perfect summer memory can be made this August at Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay, Michigan. This one-week camping program, Camp Independence, offers adults with MS or other disabilities the opportunity to participate in recreational and social activities which usually are not available in their home environment. Camp Independence will be held from August 18-24. To request an application to attend Bay Cliff’s Camp Independence call 906-345-9314. If your application is accepted and you need financial assistance to help cover the cost, call 800-344-4867, option 1. The National MS Society, Michigan Chapter is able to provide limited financial assistance for those interested in attending. If you plan to attend a different camp that is geared towards people with MS or other disabilities, we would like to know about it! If there is a financial need in this situation, you may be eligible for limited financial assistance. Call 800-344-4867, option 1 to request an application.


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CHAPTER HOSTS FIRST FAMILY GETAWAY Our first Family Getaway Weekend in Frankenmuth was filled to capacity with 30 families from across the state. It was held April 13-14 at the Bavarian Inn Lodge. Day one topics for adults included Living with MS and Cultivating Emotional Wellness for all family members and later MS Research. The children participated in activities designed just for them on understanding what MS is and how it affects their family member. It included many “hands on” experiences that simulate some of the symptoms and challenges that occur with MS on a daily basis. The program concluded with a family yoga session and engagement opportunities offered by our Michigan Chapter. Interested in attending next year? Mark your calendars for March 22-23, 2014 at the Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth.

PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENTS Southeastern Region Fall Conference will be held in Troy on Saturday, September 21. The conference will feature presentations on Research, Financial Education, and more. Look for information on our website and a brochure in the mail the beginning of August. This is a program you won’t want to miss!

Grand Rapids Fall Conference – September 2013. The committee expects to top last year’s program. Watch for the announcement which will be available soon. Save the Date – October 12th Relationship Matters Holiday Inn Express Saginaw, Michigan

MS ACTIVISTS IN LANSING AND ON CAPITOL HILL MS STATE ACTION DAY MS activists spoke ardently to Michigan legislators during the fifth annual MS State Action Day. We advocated for home care available through MI Choice, the Home and Community Based Medicaid Waiver program and Medicaid expansion. Currently, the Michigan legislature is debating Medicaid expansion. It is estimated that approximately 1,000 uninsured people with MS would gain access to health care if Medicaid expansion is enacted. We need more people to tell your legislator that the expansion is needed. Join the MS activist network to take action and learn more about the issues important to people with MS. Go to nationalMSsociety.org/mig, click on Take Action in the left column.


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MS CONNECTION: SUMMER 2013

But those of us with MS also have to learn to advocate for ourselves. We need to assert our own needs and effectively communicate them to our doctors, employers, insurers, even our families and friends. But self-advocacy doesn’t necessarily come naturally. I, for one, have always been a bit reticent to ask others to do things for me.

ADVOCACY

BE YOUR OWN BEST ADVOCATE BY JENNIFER L ARUE HUGET

Your whole life changes when you learn you have multiple sclerosis; mine sure did. In my case, those changes weren’t largely physical. Rather, my diagnosis caused me to reconsider my place in the world and the way I interact with other people and institutions. Like many others with MS, the process of learning to live with my condition opened my eyes to the necessity for me to become an advocate — for myself and, by extension, for others with MS. I suppose I was accustomed to the concept of advocacy before I was diagnosed. As a mother I advocated for my kids, seeking the best healthcare, education opportunities and play dates possible.

The National MS Society, recognizing that many people are in the same boat, offers helpful advice at nationalMSsociety.org/selfadvocacy for learning to take on the role of self-advocate in the key realms of our lives, from our workplaces and schools to our families and communities. A recent legal settlement highlights the importance of self-advocacy for people with MS who are navigating the healthcare system. In the case of Jimmo vs. Sebelius (in which the Society was a plaintiff), a federal judge on January 24 approved a settlement that reaffirmed patients’ access to Medicare benefits, regardless of whether their condition improves as a result of the treatment provided.

SELF-ADVOCACY DOESN’T ALWAYS COME NATURALLY. A bit of background: For decades, Medicare beneficiaries, especially those with long-term or degenerating conditions and those who needed rehabilitation services, have been denied care on the grounds that those services didn’t result in


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improvements to their condition. For patients whose conditions remained stable or chronic, rehabilitative services were often deemed to be for “maintenance only,” and thus weren’t covered. The new settlement reinforces the original intent of the law — that it’s not legal for Medicare to deny coverage on that basis. The law requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to revise its Medicare Benefit Policy Manual and numerous other policies, guidelines and instructions to ensure that Medicare coverage is available for skilled maintenance services in home health, nursing home and outpatient settings. Here’s where self-advocacy kicks in. The new policy is already in force. People with MS don’t have to wait until the CMS revises its documents to gain coverage for the care they need. People who are denied Medicare for skilled maintenance nursing or therapy because they are “not improving” can appeal those decisions right away. That’s a very important form of self-advocacy. To that end, another of the plaintiffs in the settlement, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, offers self-help materials at medicare advocacy.org/take-action/self-helppackets-for-medicare-appeals to help people understand coverage rules and learn how to contest Medicare denials for outpatient, home health or skilled nursing facility care. Of course, it’s important to bear in mind that the settlement doesn’t guarantee coverage; providers and people seeking Medicare coverage

for treatments still have to demonstrate that the care is medically reasonable and necessary. Still, eliminating the standard that required patients to show improvement in their condition, not just maintenance, is a big step in the right direction — and one that we should all be aware of as we navigate the healthcare system. The term “self-advocacy” can sound kind of daunting; when I first heard it, I thought it meant going to Washington, D.C., to lobby for funds for MS research. I have since learned that, yes, lobbying is at one end of the selfadvocacy spectrum. But at the other end of that spectrum there are many everyday opportunities for self-advocacy. Making sure you’re getting the medical attention you need? That’s selfadvocacy. Reminding others that you can still do your job well, despite any limitations your MS places on you? That’s self-advocacy. At the most basic level, though, self-advocacy begins with becoming informed. As I said at the start, self-advocacy doesn’t come naturally to me. But I can read and learn and discuss issues related to MS. Armed with information, I can advocate for myself with the best of ’em. n Jennifer LaRue Huget was diagnosed with MS in 2001. A freelance writer and children’s book author, she lives in Connecticut with her husband, two teenage kids and two brown dogs. Visit her website at jenniferlaruehuget.com. Originally published at blog.nationalMSsociety.org.


12 REAL ESTATE ONE GETS BEHIND FATHER’S FIGHT AGAINST MS (Continued from page 1) Darling’s strength and determination has been a big factor in her battle with MS. “She’s strong-willed, a fighter and a scrapper. Her Greek characteristics come through in her personality,” said Katsaros, 60. “She never whines, never lets you know that it’s hanging over her head. It’s a testament to her willpower.”

THE WORDS ‘NO’ OR ‘I CAN’T HANDLE OR DO IT’ HASN’T BEEN ACCEPTABLE. Katsaros also takes pride in his son-in-law, David, for going above and beyond the call of duty. “He sought out answers, the best care for her, and never left her side,” Katsaros said. “As a father, looking on, I couldn’t have asked for more.” Joining in the MS fight has been Katsaros’ employer, Southfield-based Real Estate One Inc. About four years ago, Katsaros, a realtor and associate broker with Real Estate One, Inc., made a pitch to get the company involved. Since 2010, Real Estate One has raised more than $77,000 for MS. The family-owned company sponsors both the Bike MS and Walk MS events in Michigan, and consistently places in the Top 10 fundraising teams. In 2011 alone, Real Estate One raised more than $31,000.

MS CONNECTION: SUMMER 2013

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Michigan chapter is one of four charitable organizations the company supports. “It’s heartwarming to see the outreach, to be honest,” Katsaros said. “That’s the kind of hands-on approach, where they touch most of the employees.” Darling remembers the day she and her father did the 2011 Bike MS Fall Breakaway in Brighton, Michigan. It was his second ride; her first. She fell twice during the ride, but picked herself up and finished. “That kind of exemplifies her life,” her father said. “She got back up on her seat and moved forward. It’s a cute little story. But it kind of really tells her tale.” It was a major accomplishment for the mother of two boys, Alexander, 8, and Luka, 5. It was made even sweeter having her father by her side, holding her hand as they crossed the finish line. “It was just a really nice, beautiful moment,” Darling said while holding back tears. “It was just a great moment to share with everyone. It was a great driver for me to push myself physically, health-wise. It also turned into a nice rewarding thing for those around that helped. That’s when I got really active, locally.” Currently, Darling and her family live in Grand Rapids. She and her husband started a successful frozen yogurt shop operation called Spoonlickers. In six months, they’ve opened three stores. They do various fundraising events through the business to raise awareness of breast cancer and MS, among others.


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FUNDRAISING

GOLF MS NOW THRU SEPTEMBER 30TH! There is still time to get your foursome together and enjoy 36 holes of free golf while raising money for the National MS Society, Michigan Chapter. It’s as easy as visiting golfMSmi.org to register your team; select one of our Partner Golf Courses; commit to raising $100 or more by your day of golf; and have a great day with your team! If you wish to play a non-partner course or host your own golf related event, you can find resource materials on the Golf MS website. Or, send an email to golf@nmss.org with a list of golf courses at which you would like to play, and we will make the contact for you. Golf MS fundraising is open until September 30th • Participants who raise more than $325 will be entered into a drawing to win a set of three ATV Wedges (52º 56º and 60º) • Participants who raise more than $525 will be entered into a drawing to win a TaylorMade RocketBallz S Driver (9.5º – R) Please contact us if you have questions or need additional information 248-936-0360, golf@nmss.org.

13 DAVID OSMOND IS KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT 2013 WOMEN ON THE MOVE LUNCHEON David Osmond will be our keynote speaker and performing at this year’s Women on the Move Luncheon. He is the son of Alan Osmond, the founder of the famed troupe of singing brothers, and nephew of Donny & Marie. Both David and his father have MS. This year’s Women on the Move Luncheon will take place on September 10 at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit Hotel. To purchase tickets, go to nationalMSsociety.org/mig or contact Patti Radzik at 248-936-0342 or Patti.Radzik@nmss.org. Michigan has one of the highest incidence rates of multiple sclerosis in the country and women are diagnosed with the disease two to three times more than men. Join us to learn more about MS and to help fund critical research that will lead to a cure.


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FUNDRAISING

BE INSPIRED. GET CONNECTED. WALK MS.

one offers a fully supported, fun, and truly inspirational experience. Mid Michigan – July 13 & 14 Fall Breakaway – September 21 Bavarian Breakaway – September 28 & 29

Walk MS connects people living with MS and those who care about them. It is an experience unlike any other 2013 – a day to come together, to celebrate the progress we’ve made and to show the power of our connections. When you participate in Walk MS, the funds you raise give hope to the more than 18,000 people living with MS in our community. We need YOU to support promising research to stop the disease, restore function that has been lost and to end MS forever. Please visit our website at walkMSMi.org or call 1-800-FIGHT MS for more information, to register or to volunteer.

REGISTER TODAY – to ride or volunteer by visiting our website at bikeMSmi.org or calling 1-800-FIGHT MS.

September 7 – Grand Haven September 8 – Milford September 14 – West Branch September 15 – Marquette

Get your glow on and light up the night as you run a 5k to raise money for MS. This nighttime event will be held at Camp Dearborn and participants will receive a goody bag of glow accessories and paint to adorn themselves to the height of glowy fashion. Brave the seas of foam, the rain storm of UV glow water and the dust cloud of neon powder so you glow like a champ. Once you have triumphantly reached the finish line you will be greeted by a celebratory dance party, light show and bonfire. For additional information and to register, please visit glowintheparkrun.com/about.html.

DON’T JUST RIDE, BIKE MS Great Lakes Breakaway Ride 2013

Bike MS is the premier fundraising cycling series in the nation. There are three remaining rides to choose from in Michigan and each

WORKING TOWARD A WORLD FREE OF MS: DO IT YOURSELF FUNDRAISING GLOW IN THE PARK – SATURDAY, AUGUST 17


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MICHIGAN CHAPTER EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT CHRISTOPHER ROWE My name is Christopher Rowe and I am the Community Engagement Manager. My job consists of gathering volunteers for all events, our marathon program, MS Ambassadors, and Day of Service. My involvement with the Michigan Chapter began seven years ago when I volunteered to lead the medical teams for Bike MS events, and I enjoy continuing to do so. Prior to working here at the chapter, I was a Firefighter/Paramedic. During that time I also became a licensed EMS Instructor, which I still love doing to this day. I am married to my high school sweetheart who also began volunteering with me several years ago for the National MS Society. We have an amazing little boy who we hope grows up with a heart for volunteering as well. The work done by the MS staff in an effort to free the world of MS is truly amazing and I am proud to be a part of it. Please feel free to contact me at 248-936-0362 or at Christopher.Rowe@nmss.org. I love to chat when time allows and I would love to find out how we can get you out and working some events!

SARAH BORST My name is Sarah Borst and I started full time with the National MS Society, Michigan Chapter as the Corporate Relations Manager in September of 2012. I love all aspects of my job including cultivating corporate sponsorships as well as being the editor of the MS Connection. About three years ago, I began to ride in the West Michigan Bike MS event with my family in memory of my dad who passed away from complications of MS. Once I realized the passion, commitment, and camaraderie of the Society and its volunteers, I knew I wanted to do more. I grew up in the small town of Constantine, about 45 minutes south of Kalamazoo. Continuing my education, I went on to study public relations at Western Michigan University graduating in December of 2009. My husband Garett and I were married last fall and relocated from Kalamazoo to the Metro Detroit area. Before starting full-time on staff, I was an intern for two years, the West Michigan Bike MS Committee Chair, and a member of the Kalamazoo Walk MS Committee. The mission of finding a cure for multiple sclerosis is very close to my heart. It’s going to be the greatest day for so many people when we find a cure for MS! I can’t wait! Contact me anytime regarding sponsorship opportunities or forming a team at Sarah.Borst@nmss.org or 248-936-0350.


21311 Civic Center Dr. Southfield, MI 48076

FUNDRAISING

MUCKFEST MS TOUR MAKING A STOP IN DETROIT ON AUGUST 3 MuckFest™ MS is the nation’s best mud and obstacle fun-run. But it’s so much more. Made with mud, sweat and cheers, the five-mile course features a gauntlet of muck-filled mazes, pits and craters with over twenty gigantic steel obstacles. The fun doesn’t stop when you slide over the finish line. There’s beer, great food and music in the MuckFestival area. We operate on “the more, the muckier” principle, so bring your friends and family to join in the hilarious spills and thrills. We even have a speciallydesigned mucky playlot for the kids called

Lil’ Muckers. And here’s the best part: 100% of our fundraising dollars go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society—helping to prove that you can have loads of dirty fun and feel good. To register or for more information please visit MuckFestMS.org or call (800) 3-GoMuck.

MS Connection  

The Multiple Sclerosis Society - Michigan Chapter Newsletter - Issue | Summer 2013

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