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STEPPING STONES TO A BRIGHTER FUTURE BY MARTHA LEWIS, MODESTO RESIDENT AND WALK MS: MODESTO CO-AMBASSADOR In June 2007, I was helping at a yard sale. I was feeling rather hot so I went in the house and the next thing I knew my speech was slurred, my face was stinging, and I was exhausted beyond anything I ever knew. I assumed that rest was what I needed. Of course everyone wanted me to go to the ER, but I refused. What followed next was a series of tests, then the results, which was “Atypical Primary Progressive MS.” I was referred to UCSF for more tests and I received the same diagnosis. I remember the solemn words of the doctor: “There is no medication for PPMS but we can give you something for the nerve pain.” Well of course it surprised me, and unfortunately I soon learned that every time I was in a crowd, I would get sick and wind up in the ER. So I stayed home and for safety reasons, gave up driving. Three years later a blessing occurred.

I no longer stay at home and in fact, the Northern California Chapter has asked me to be a co– ambassador for Walk MS: Modesto this year. I gladly accepted this honor as I want to do whatever I can to make people aware of the wonderful things the National MS Society is doing to help individuals living with MS and their families live life to the fullest. I truly believe every individual living with MS or anyone who knows someone with MS should have their computers linked to the National MS Society website. There is so much information, encouragement, and support from the Society. Today I can say that the limitations that once hindered my life are now stepping stones to a brighter future, thanks to the National MS Society.

We invite you to walk with Marti and others affected by MS at Walk MS: Modesto on April 28, I attended a Can Do Multiple Sclerosis program 2012. There are 12 walk sites across Northern in partnership with the National MS Society, California. Money raised at Walk MS events funds Northern California Chapter that changed my innovative programs, services and critical research life drastically. Can Do Multiple Sclerosis focused on stopping the progression of MS, is a leading provider of innovative lifestyle restoring function that’s been lost, and ending MS empowerment programs for people living with forever. Step by step, dollar by dollar, Walk MS is MS and their support partners and has helped changing lives. Register today at thousands of people living with MS reclaim a sense of dignity, control and freedom by empowering them with the knowledge, skills, Check the MS Connection for future offerings of tools and confidence to transform challenges into Can Do Multiple Sclerosis. To learn more about Can possibilities. Do Multiple Sclerosis, please visit

Newly Diagnosed Orientation Tuesday, May 1, 2012 6:30–8:00 PM National MS Society - Central Valley Office 422 McHenry Avenue Modesto, CA Learn more about this informative program for people newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and to register, please visit or call 800-344-4867.

Navigating Systems and Community Resources Thursday, June 14, 2012 6:30 - 8:30 PM St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Basement – Room 4 1800 North California Stockton, CA 95204 If you have spent time looking for affordable housing, dealing with your employer about your MS or tried applying for SSDI, you will know that these issues often take persistence and experience to break-through systemic barriers in order to get the support you need. Please join Ann Johnson, Community Development Manager with the National MS Society, and your service management contact for housing, employment and benefits, as she addresses common issues that people impacted by MS share.

Insurance Appeals Workshop Saturday, May 12, 2012 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Holiday Inn Express & Suites 3751 North Tracy Blvd Tracy, CA 95376 A March 22, 2010 article titled “Top 5 Reasons Why People Go Bankrupt” states: “A study done at Harvard University indicates that this (medical expenses) is the biggest cause of bankruptcy, representing 62% of all personal bankruptcies. One of the interesting caveats of this study shows that 78% of filers had some form of health insurance, thus bucking the myth that medical bills affect only the uninsured.” The National MS Society recognizes that insurance is a critical part of living well with MS, and that being an advocate for yourself when it comes to medical insurance means being well informed and proactive. There may come a time when you have to go up against your insurance carrier to get the procedure or treatment you need. We want to help you do that. Come hear Laurie Todd, a.k.a. “The Insurance Warrior”, and learn how to conduct an appeal if your insurance carrier ever denies you a medical procedure or treatment. Go to www. to see TV interviews, read testimonials and hear from Laurie about her work. Pre-registration is required. To register, please visit, or call 800-344-4867. Registration deadline is Monday, May 7, 2012.

Pre-registration is required. To register, please visit, or call For more information, please contact Tim 800-344-4867. Registration deadline is Monday, Overweg at 209-214-6022 or email June 11, 2012. For more information, please contact Tim Overweg at 209-214-6022 or email

PLAY BALL! Saturday, April 14, 2012 First pitch – 7:05 PM Banner Island Ballpark 404 West Freemont Street Stockton, CA It’s time to PLAY BALL in the Central Valley! Join us on Saturday, April 14 for a game between two of our hometown teams – the Stockton Ports and the Modesto Nuts! This is not merely a baseball game, it is an event! Grab your glove and cap and experience the fun! • One of our group will sing the National Anthem and another will throw the first pitch! (Like to sing the National Anthem? Contact Tim Overweg – see contact information.) • Recognition on the big board! • MS booth on the concourse! • $5.00 food voucher with every ticket • RALLY for WALK MS! Bring your 2012 WALK TEAM! There is no cost for this event, but seats are limited and pre-registration is required. To register, please visit www.nationalMSsociety. org/can or call 800-344-4867. Registration deadline: Wednesday, April 11. For more information call Tim Overweg at 209214-6022 or email at timothy.overweg@nmss. org.

FACEBOOK The Northern California Chapter Facebook page has over 2,150 fans and counting. Become a fan today and get connected to other people living with MS.

Central Valley Self-Help Groups MERCED COUNTY Merced: MS Challengers Susan 209-564-4311 STANISLAUS COUNTY Modesto Nancy and Joe 775-560-6592 Turlock Bill 209-664-1427 or Frances 209-667-2184 SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY Stockton PM Brenda 209-951-0536 or Mary 209-334-5670 Stockton AM Laurie 209-943-2686 or Velma 209-951-2264 Tracy Linda 209-833-6882 TUOLUMNE COUNTY Sonora Steven or Gloria 209-532-5646

What’s Happening Around the Chapter South Bay Area

Newly Diagnosed Orientation - May 17 Fall Prevention Workshop - June 2 Self-Advocacy Skills Training - June 30 Yoga for MS - ongoing

Greater Bay Area

Newly Diagnosed Orientation - May 2 Kayaking - June 2 CogniFitness - starts June 15


Strike Out MS Night - April 13 MS, Memory & Concentration - April 17 Newly Diagnosed Orientation - May 3 Terry Rossman MS Golf Experience - May 11 Connecting through Clay - May 19

North Bay

Kayaking- June 2 Eureka Yoga Retreat - June 23

Visit to register and for full program descriptions.

Accessible from the Comfort of Home New! Online Newly Diagnosed Orientation Thursday, May 17th & Thursday, June 14th 6:00 – 7:30 PM Online and over the phone Are you Newly Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis? A diagnosis of MS can create many unexpected emotions that leave you with a strong need to understand the changes you may be facing. This web based program will be conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Crabtree, Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurology at UCSF and Director of Patient Program Development at the UCSF MS Center. Dr. Crabtree will address the most common concerns for people who are newly diagnosed. This orientation provides an excellent opportunity to have any questions you may wish to ask answered and learn more about the resources available to persons with multiple sclerosis. A phone and computer with internet access will be necessary to join this program. Please call 800-344-4867 or visit to register for this program.

Pain Management - New Program Coming Soon! – Date & time TBD Online and over the phone Stress, pain and discomfort are very common in MS. MS creates its own emotionally taxing predicaments, not the least of which is dealing with the unpredictable course of this disease. Furthermore, some studies suggest that over 55% of people living with MS had “clinically significant pain”. Almost half (48%) were troubled by chronic pain. This program will be facilitated by Dr. Pearl Werfel, a licensed psychologist with over 25 years of experience. Her areas of expertise include living well with MS and other chronic illness and anxiety, stress and pain mitigation. If pain and discomfort are symptoms that you experience, we invite you to join the Northern California Chapter in a chapter-wide program starting this spring. Please call 800-344-4867 for more information.

Central Valley Programs Spring 2012  

Central Valley Programs Spring 2012

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