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M O V I N G T O W A R D A W O R L D F R E E O F M S | 2 0 11 • F A L L

New 15-mile route makes its debut at bike ms With the 2011 Bike MS Bay to Bay Tour just around the corner, we are happy to announce that a new 15-mile route has been added so cyclists of all ability levels can participate and be part of making this year’s event better than ever! The Bike MS Tour is the chapter’s largest fundraising event, with 2,500 cyclists raising $2.3 million, helping us create a world free of multiple sclerosis.

Bike MS will be held October 22 & 23 and is a memorable cycling adventure featuring fullysupported scenic routes along the Orange County and San Diego coastline. Other route options along with the 15-mile route include, 30, 100 or 150 miles over one or two days. Day One routes (100 & 150-mile) will end at the Spa, where cyclists will enjoy Carlsbad Sheraton Resort and delicious food, refreshments such as craft beer, live music, and resort facilities all while enjoying the beautiful ocean backdrop. (Continued on page 14)


Team Killer Bees smiles for the camera. Everyone has fun at Bike MS!

Exciting Society-Wide Research Initiative Announcement. Become an MS Research Champion today! PAGE 3


Support for the Family Page 4

Volunteers Needed! Page 6

Advocacy Updates Page 12

Accessible San Diego Page 15


(800) 344-4867 Publication of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Pacific South Coast Chapter Chapter Offices: 12121 Scripps Summit Drive, Suite 190 San Diego, CA 92131 3000-C Airway Avenue, Suite 125 Costa Mesa, CA 92626 Vice President, Programs & Services Karen Hooper MSConnection Editor Jessica Read MSConnection Associate Editor Leslie Christofferson The National Multiple Sclerosis Society does not endorse products, services or manufacturers. Such names appear here solely because they are considered valuable information. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society assumes no liability for the use of contents of any product or service mentioned. 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.


You can help the chapter put more money toward our mission of creating a world free of MS by opting to receive the MSConnection electronically! Not only will you help us save money, and help Mother Earth, but the online version of the MSConnection is in full color and is interactive! To do your part today, email with the subject “Send me the digital MSC.” Easy as that! Check out other ways to connect with us and other people who are affected by MS: • LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

We mobilize people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS.


© 2011 National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Pacific South Coast Chapter






No opportunity Wasted – NOW MS is complicated. So is MS research. The science is difficult to understand and the steps between idea and treatment are complex. But, the solutions that research leads to are elegantly simple. Stop the progression of MS. Restore the functions already lost to MS. And end MS for future generations. These solutions are the focus of NOW, our five-year $250 million research fundraising commitment. “We are committed to pursuing all promising paths,” says Dr. Timothy Coetzee, the Society’s chief research officer.

“We’re serious about leaving no stone unturned,” Dr. Coetzee continues. “We must increase our investment in potential leads, with a focus on progressive forms of MS, and we must support health policy and rehabilitation research because they can maximize quality of life. Only a comprehensive approach to

all three solutions will achieve a world free of MS.” Become a Champion for MS research! Join us today by going to nationalMSsociety. org/nowchampion or by calling 1-800-344-4867. Armed with some clear concepts, Champions help others get informed and involved.

Clinical trials Update The Society’s annual list of clinical trials for MS is now available online at It features 130 studies that have recently been completed or are still in progress. These studies cover neuroprotective agents, symptom medications, rehabilitation interventions such as cycling for improving MS-related depression, mobility and cognitive function to name a few. More than 52,000 volunteers have participated or are currently participating in these studies. Their participation—and yours—makes it possible to look forward to new therapies for MS.

April & May 2012 TOLL FREE NUMBER 1 800 344 4867

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SUPPORT FOR THE FAMILY MS is a disease that affects the entire family. Whether you have MS or you have a loved one who is living with MS, it brings challenges that seem insurmountable. The constant unpredictability is one of many challenges that may seem unbearable. We are here to help. We exist to serve families affected by MS from the time of diagnosis onward and have a variety of programs and services to help you find the support you need. Introducing Family Matters The Family Matters Program is a focused approach to enhancing the health and well-being of families affected by MS. Some of the programs and services offered include: In-person family meetings Learn more about the disease and valuable community resources. Meetings are customized to meet your family’s needs. Emotional Support Connect with a support group or speak with a professional one-on-one through our counseling program. Financial assistance Access financial support for the family’s basic needs such as food, shelter, and utilities. We can also consider assisting with items such as school activitiesor other family-related expenses. 4


Families have fun at the Annual Day at the Bay in Mission Bay

Financial counseling Obtain assistance with everything from basic family budgeting to long-term financial planning. Utilize this program using a phone consultation or arrange a personalized meeting in the comfort of your own home. HELP IN THE HOME Request assistance with day-to-day chores and get a much needed break through our respite care program. Education Attend our symposiums and other educational seminars to learn more about advancements


in MS research and valuable community resources. Social and Recreational Engage and connect with other families with similar experiences at our annual Walk MS Events, Day at the Bay event for an opportunity to sail, Family Fun Day at Knott’s Berry Farm or our popular Sycuan Annual Holiday Party. For more information contact Janell Marshall at 760-448-8407 or


FAMILYPROGRAMS Family Fun Day at Knott’s Berry Farm Saturday, October 15, 2011 Learn more on Page 7 Sycuan Annual Family Holiday Party Saturday, December 18, 2011 Learn more on Page 7 2012 Educational Scholarships Highly qualified high-school seniors who have been diagnosed with MS or who have a parent living with MS are eligible for the Society’s scholarship program. Awards range from $1,000–$3,000 and a small number of four-year awards are offered as well. Applications will be accepted online between October 1, 2011 and January 13, 2012. For more information, visit or call 1-800-344-4867 and press ‘1.’ Gobble Gobble! Get Ready For Turkey Delivery! In the spirit of the Thanksgiving Holiday, we will provide turkey dinners or grocery gifts cards to those affected by MS who are either in financial need or have difficulty preparing a holiday meal. Requests will be accepted beginning October 3 through November 11 or while supplies last. Dinners and gift cards are limited. For more information, call 1-800-344-4867 and press ‘1.’

online training: SELF-employment COURSE FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES Are you interested in starting a business but don’t know where to begin? Do you have a great idea but don’t know how to execute it? Have you ever wondered: “Where can I get money to start a business?” or “How do I know if self-employment is for me?” If so, this five-week online course may put you on the path to an exciting new career! The course will cover: • Writing a Business Plan • Conducting a Feasibility Study • Accessing Community Supports • Identifying Funding • Using Work Incentives Self-employment is increasingly recognized as a viable employment option for people with disabilities, offering a tremendous opportunity to those most challenged by the competitive labor market. Each lesson lasts one week and should take approximately four to five hours to complete. Weekly lessons include an online discussion forum, audio lectures, and select readings. All participants will be assigned to groups and these groups will be asked to correspond with each other on the course bulletin boards. Registration begins on October 1, 2011, and space is on a first-come, first-served basis. Hurry and register today! For more information or to register call 1-800-344-4867 and press “1” or go online to and click on the November 7, 2011 class. * This course is being provided to the National MS Society by START-UP/ USA. Self-Employment Technical Assistance, Resources, & Training (STARTUP/USA) is a partnership between Virginia Commonwealth University and Griffin-Hammis and Associates, LLC. START-UP/USA is funded by a cooperative agreement #E-9-4-6-011 from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

TOLL FREE NUMBER 1 800 344 4867

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Calling all volunteers. We are still in need of volunteers for our fall events. Ask your friends, neighbors and coworkers to help us create a world free of MS! Volunteers are needed for Challenge Walk MS, September 23 - 25. Register to volunteer one, two or all three days at or contact Linda at A few spotlight volunteer positions include:

• •

Medical volunteers all three days at rest stops Route marking volunteers all three days

Many groups as well as individuals are still needed for the Bike MS Bay to Bay Tour on October 22 & 23. Please register online to volunteer at Needs include:

• • • • •


Thank you to the wonderful office volunteers who worked all summer at both our office locations. Our army of helpers included college students who spent their summer learning new skills and giving back. Many are volunteers who come into the office every week!

Medical volunteers Orange County route marking Orange County set-up volunteers on Friday Orange County volunteers to meet cyclists on Sunday Finish line volunteers on Sunday at Hospitality Point

Are you “Captain” material? If you are motivated, have or want to gain great leadership skills, have a desire to give back to the community, can inspire people and most importantly, want to have some fun…then we want you to be a volunteer leader at Challenge Walk MS and Bike MS! Please contact Linda Ingram at or 760-448-8416. 6



Fantastic office volunteers, Audrey Jackson & Terry Cappello




Family Fun Day at Knott’s Berry Farm Saturday, October 15, 2011 Gather your family and join us for a day of fun at “America’s 1st theme park.” Enjoy a fabulous buffet lunch including Mrs. Knott’s famous chicken and other buffet favorites. Make it a family weekend getaway and stay overnight at the Knott’s Berry Farm Resort. Further details regarding this event will be included in the brochure to be mailed in September.

Save the Date! Sycuan Annual Family Holiday Party Saturday, December 18, 2011 The Sycuan Annual Family Holiday Party is an event that families look forward to year after year. This is not only an opportunity to celebrate the holidays with friends and family, but a positive way to interact with others affected by MS thereby reducing social isolation.

Every year we receive heartwarming comments from Moving Forward: The Newly attendees on how much this event Diagnosed Seminar has touched their lives, brought Saturday, October 29, 2011 their families together, and put 8:30am-12:15pm a smile on their child’s face. Moving Forward is an educational People with MS and their family seminar offered at no cost to members are invited to attend you. The program is designed this joyous and festive holiday for individuals who have been event. diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) within the past three years. This year’s event will take place at Golden Hall on the San Diego Our objective is to provide you Concourse. Stay tuned for more with information about: information but mark your • The Diagnosis of MS calendar early. You don’t want • Treatment Options • The Emotional Aspects of MS to miss it!

To register for any of the programs listed, as well as learn about additional programs available, visit or call us at 1-800 344-4867 (1-800-FIGHT-MS) and press “1.”

Fall Lecture Series ON Multiple Sclerosis Join neurologist Charles Smith, MD and the chapter for a free series of seminars that will offer valuable information to people who want to better manage their MS symptoms and improve their quality of life. Each presentation will be followed by Q&A. Light refreshments will be provided. Managing MS-Related Fatigue Tuesday, September 13, 2011 Below the Belt: Bladder, Bowel and Sexual Dysfunction in MS Tuesday, October 4, 2011 MS and the Mind: Managing Cognitive Challenges Tuesday, November 1, 2011 *Register today for one or all of the seminars by calling 1-800-SCRIPPS (1-800-272-4777). All lectures take place from 6:30-8:00pm at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla.

TOLL FREE NUMBER 1 800 344 4867

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SELF-HELP GROUPS Orange County Anaheim 1st & 3rd Tuesday 12:30 - 2:30pm Rosa Ferreras 714-758-0829

Costa Mesa: Man to Man 1st & 3rd Wednesday 1:30 - 3pm Mike Milne 949-215-8502

Anaheim: En Español Familiares y amigos bienvenidos El segundo y cuarto martes de cada mes Anaheim Adventist Church 900 S. Sunkist St, 6 - 7:30pm Rosa Ferreras 714-758-0829 Susana Pérez 714-235-7570

Dana Point: Minimal Symptoms / Newly Diagnosed 4th Thursday, 10am - 12pm Jerry Dowd 949-584-4619 Susan Watson 949-493-1299

Brea: Family & Friends Welcome 2nd Monday & 4th Friday, 10am - 12pm Kathy Kelby 714-525-0686 Rob Lammers 714-990-2933 Brea 1st Friday of the month, 10am - 12pm Denise Kish 909-519-4410 Jim Langdon 714-392-2052 Carona Del Mar: Minimal Symptoms/Newly Diagnosed 3rd Wednesday 1:30 - 3:30pm Sherri Brash 714-846-2064

MOREInfo If you would like more information about support groups in your area, call 1-800-344-4867 press ‘1’ or contact a leader listed above. 8


Huntington Beach: Minimal Symptoms / Newly Diagnosed 2nd Wednesday, 10am - 12pm Jeanne Archibald 714-842-7198 Priscilla Wolz 714-846-6526 Huntington Beach: Working with MS 1st Tuesday, 6:30 - 8:30pm Laurie Cable 714-969-8298 Karen Patterson 714-377-4006 Irvine: Mature Group 2nd & 4th Wednesday 10am - 12pm Betty Brusco 949-481-0143 Jack Santos 949-786-9593 Irvine: Girl Talk 3rd Monday, 11am - 1:30pm Tabitha Evans 714-669-5618 Maggie Finn 949-748-7591 Laguna Hills 1st Tuesday, 10am - 12pm Francine Grasso 949-278-6935 Karen Harlas 949-498-9583 Lake Forest: MS with Christ 3rd Monday, 6:30 - 8:30pm Bill Bisch 949-218-5020 Cathy Varela 949-496-3810


Midway City 1st & 3rd Tuesdays 10am - 12pm Pat Howard 714-968-0277 Linda Logan 714-374-0430 Mission Viejo: Minimal Symptoms / Newly Diagnosed 2nd Wednesday, 6:30 - 8pm Jerry Dowd 949-584-4619 Susan Watson 949-493-1299 Newport Beach 3rd Sunday, 2 - 4pm Harriet Pavidis 714-839-5529 Norma Mucia 714-641-9171

SELF-HELP GROUPS San Diego County Cardiff by the Sea: Women’s Group Future meetings put on hold For more information, please contact Jessica Goodrich 714-689-9602 Chula Vista: En Español Llame para más información. Fernando Palomino 619-691-7964 Chula Vista St. Marks Lutheran Church 850 Hilltop Dr. 3rd Wednesday, 11am - 1pm Susan Lipp 619-248-0669 Bonnie Kuhn 619-749-8806 Escondido Joslyn Senior Center, Room 5 210 Park Avenue 3rd Wednesday, 1 - 3pm Beth Bradsher 760-747-9096 Michele Easterling 760-805-6390 Escondido: Christian Group 3rd Friday, 1-3 pm Calvary Chapel of Escondido 1675 Seven Oakes Rd, Room 4 Dawn Vallely 760-390-1777 Oceanside Oceanside Library 3861 Mission Avenue 2nd Wednesday, 12 - 2pm Juanita Hamilton 760-754-1911 Poway Weingart Center 13094 Civic Centre Drive 1st Tuesday, 6:30pm Peggy Green 858-748-4009

Ramona 2nd Tuesday, 11am - 12pm Van Reeder 760-789-9129 San Diego (Clairemont/ La Jolla) Denny’s Restaurant 4280 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. 1st Thursday, 10am - 12pm Denise Kish 909-519-4410 San Diego: Mens Group Kaiser Education Center San Diego 10990 San Diego Mission Road 1st Tuesday, 6:30pm Bill Homer 858-571-1867

San Diego (Mid-City) Kaiser Education Center San Diego 10990 San Diego Mission Rd 4th Monday, 2 - 4pm Stephanie Russell 619-224-6156 Spring Valley New Seasons Church 2300 Bancroft Drive 2nd Saturday, 12:30 - 2pm Kris Hodge 619-933-2601 Debbie Centeno 619-460-4123

Professionally-led groups IN ORANGE & SAN DIEGO COUNTIES Support Group for People Experiencing Progressing MS Symptoms 2nd Tuesday of Every Month (beginning May 10) 10:00am - 12:00pm Facilitator: Debbie Hornstein, MSW Neighborhood Community Center 1845 Park Avenue Costa Mesa, CA 92627 714-689-9602

Caregiver Support Group 3rd Thursday of Every Month 6:30-8:00pm Facilitator: Seraphina Galante, MSW, Family Consultant Southern Caregiver Resource Center 3675 Ruffin Road, Suite 230 San Diego, CA 92123 (858) 268-4432, ext. 112

Women’s Caregiver Group 2nd Wednesday of Every Month 6:30 - 8:00pm Facilitator: Deborah LeFevre, MFT National MS Society Costa Mesa Office 3000-C Airway Avenue, Suite 125 Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (714) 689-9602

TOLL FREE NUMBER 1 800 344 4867

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Chula Vista: Outdoor Loma Verde Pool 1420 Loma Lane Tuesdays & Thursdays 12 - 1pm

Fullerton: Indoor Aquatics North Orange County YMCA 2000 Youth Way Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays 9 - 10am $6 per session

El Cajon: Outdoor/Indoor St. Madeline Sophie’s Center 2119 East Madison Avenue Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays 11:30am - 12:30pm Irvine: Indoor Arthritis Foundation Approved Class Waterworks Aquatics 25 Waterworks Way Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:30 - 11:30am No lift available at this time Vista: Indoor Bally’s Fitness Center 1932 Hacienda Drive Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:45am - 12:45pm

BALANCE & STRENGTH TRAINING La Jolla Ability Rehab Specialists 737 Pearl St, #108 1st, 2nd, 3rd Tuesdays, 6 - 6:45pm Costa Mesa Healthy Balance 1599 Superior Avenue, Suite B Thursdays, 10:45 - 11:45am

YOGA Costa Mesa Yoga Works 1835 Newport Blvd, #A208 Mondays, 10:45 - 11:45am Dana Point Dana Point Community Center 34052 Del Obispo Road Wednesdays, 8:00 - 9:15am Fullerton Friends in Christ Lutheran Church 2311 E. Chapman Avenue Wednesdays, 10:30 - 11:30am Huntington Beach Yoga Works 301 Main Street Wednesdays, 1 - 2pm Santa Ana Goodwill Fitness Center 1601 E. St. Andrew Place Fridays, 9:45-10:45am San Diego Addie’s Personal Training Studio 4440 Ingraham St. Sundays, 10-11am $5 per session




La Jolla: Yoga Scripps Memorial Hospital 9888 Genesee Avenue Thursdays, 9 - 10am $10 monthly fee Cardiac Rehab 858-626-6493 San Diego: Outdoor Aquatics Peninsula Family YMCA 4390 Valeta Street Monday-Friday, 11am - 12pm $5 per session San Marcos: Lebed Method Meadow Lark Community Church 1918 Redwing St. Diana Dean-Naú 760-809-9176 $5 per class


CHALLENGE WALK MS: 10 YEARS OF GLORY In only a few weeks, nearly 300 participants will walk 50 miles in just 3 days to help make a difference in the lives of those living with multiple sclerosis. United for one cause, these individuals will walk over 100,000 steps in one of the most challenging yet rewarding journeys of their lives, filled with friendship, unforgettable moments and most of all, hope. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to join Challenge Walk MS in Southern California, you can experience it first-hand

by watching the documentary of Team optiMiStic. Experience the journey of seven women, five who live with MS, as they walk from Carlsbad to San Diego. Hear their stories and see how teamwork and friendships go hand in hand. Visit to view the webisodes, where you will see all the inspiring elements of what makes Challenge Walk MS worth every step! For more information, visit or call Jennifer West at (760) 448-8435.

TRUEWORDS “The walk was an inspiring, challenging, exhausting, emotional and very memorable experience. I took on the challenge to prove to myself that I can do anything that I set my mind to. The experience was even more special having my good friends with me as well as seeing my family waiting for me at the finish line.” - Kelley A.

TOLL FREE NUMBER 1 800 344 4867

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UPDATED INFORMATION ON the Affordable Care Act To help people with MS understand the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or ACA, signed into law March 2010, the Society regularly updates Frequently Asked Questions on its website at

More than 20 years after the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), noteworthy changes went into effect March 2011. These demonstrate a continued commitment to realizing the full potential of the ADA and to properly enforcing civil rights of people living with disabilities. The definition of “disability” had been selectively narrowed over the years. Now, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s new regulation is clear. Disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, regardless if the disability is in remission. Multiple sclerosis will almost always meet the “disability” criteria because MS limits a major life activity (namely, neurological function). The revised regulations also adopt the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design, setting minimum requirements for new construction or alterations of facilities of some 80,000 state and local governments and of more than seven million public places, including stores, restaurants, hotels, malls, libraries, museums, sports arenas, theaters, medical offices, polling places and emergency preparedness centers. Learn more at Also visit the ADA National Network at or call 1-800-949-4232 for information and training on how to implement the ADA in our area. 12



On this page, people can find answers to questions such as: • What if I am about to lose my COBRA coverage? • Can children with pre-existing conditions get coverage? • Does the law limit lifetime or annual caps on individual coverage? • What are “Health Insurance Exchanges?” • Can private insurance companies cancel my policy? • What about long-term care? • When will the “donut hole” in Medicare Part D phase out? The FAQs also explore the regulations pertaining to the ACA provisions, as well as legal challenges the ACA faces. In addition, there are many links to fact sheets and useful websites that provide more in-depth information on specific issues. As various provisions of the ACA kick in over the next few years, the Society will continue providing up-to-date information and links.


Did you know that you can designate the Society in your employee giving campaign? Every year, over 1.5 million employees support non-profit organizations through an employee giving campaign. The majority of charitable giving programs offer employees the opportunity to make an annual pledge with specific amounts automatically deducted from each paycheck or by making a one-time contribution. If your company does not offer an employee giving program, talk to your benefits administrator about starting a campaign.

Participating in a charitable giving program is an easy way to help provide essential services for people with MS and provide funds for cutting-edge MS research. To designate a gift to the chapter through the Combined Federal Campaign, use number 63706; through the United Way, use number 95549 or you can designate the National MS Society, Pacific South Coast Chapter.

For more information regarding workplace giving or to request someone to speak at your office, contact Karen Barton at 760-448-8412.

THE MS DINNER AUCTION CELEBRATES 25 YEARS! Break out the bubbly and begin the festivities as the MS Dinner Auction sponsored by Pacific Wealth Management commemorates its 25th sparkling anniversary! This glittering affair kicks off at 5:00pm on Saturday, November 19, at the amazing Loews Coronado Bay Resort. Expect a dazzling array of auction items, lively entertainment, sumptuous gourmet dining, and many

special anniversary surprises. Love to shop? San Diego’s largest charity shopping event features everything from international and domestic vacations at five-star hotels with airfare, spa packages, and dining and entertainment certificates. Looking for a unique gift? What about private movie screenings,

walk-on television roles, fighter pilot adventures and other one-of-a-kind experiences? You will find jewelry, sports and entertainment memorabilia, wine collections, home electronics, gift baskets, home dĂŠcor, and many more great items for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Ticket prices range from $150 to $400 and packages including accommodations are available. For more information or to register, visit or call 760-448-8417.

TOLL FREE NUMBER 1 800 344 4867

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BIKE MS BAY TO BAY TOUR: NEW & IMPROVED ROUTES (continued from Cover) Anyone can join! So dust off your beach cruiser, clean the mud off your mountain bike or borrow your neighbor’s bicycle and come ride with us! Invite friends and family to enjoy the festivities and cheer you on as you cross the finish line, knowing you were a part of making us one step closer to a world free of MS.

15-Mile Route NEW in 2011, novice cyclists have the option of doing a 15-mile ride on Day Two! The 15-mile route is a scenic, beginner route around the Bay from Ingraham Street, around Fiesta Island and finishes at San Diego’s beautiful Hospitality Point. There, cyclists enjoy a celebratory BBQ lunch.

30-Mile Route If you are looking for a more robust ride with a few more challenges, we encourage you to register for the 30-mile route, which starts and finishes at San Diego’s Hospitality Point on Day Two. The 30-mile route will join the 100/150-mile cyclists who will all pedal through the finish line together.

For more information on route options or to register, visit

MOBILEUPDATES Get up-to-the-minute important Bike MS information, by texting “sprocket” to 877877. You will be the first to hear of any route changes, weather updates, and other pertinent details! Volunteering at Bike MS? Text “baytobay” to 877877 to make sure you get volunteer-specific information!






GINNY’STRAVELTIPS • Do your homework! Hot weather makes me weaker so I have to do thorough research on my destinations. “Do you have the guide?” National MS Society member Ginny Billock asked me, referring to Accessible San Diego’s new access guide ( Ginny has helped compile the Access in San Diego Guide for Accessible San Diego, which provides travelers with disabilities an annotated list of accessible hotels, tours, lift transportation, and attractions.

who is a motorized wheelchair user and we were impressed with the large number of accessible parking spaces. There’s even a marked loading and unloading zone for wheelchair users.

“I’m a wheelchair user with SCI (spinal cord injury) and I have been researching the guide each year for 20 years,” said Accessible San Diego President, Wes Johnson. “We go out and do site reviews,” he continued. “We want to make sure the information in the guide is accurate.”

As we were talking about taking the long way back to the main entrance, a zoo employee approached us and asked if we wanted a ride to the front. She radioed for it and a lift-equipped, air-conditioned shuttle arrived in minutes. What a pleasant way to end our visit!

Most recently, Accessible San Diego provided access recommendations for the parking lot at the San Diego Zoo. I checked it out with my husband

Orange County residents can get similar accessibility information by visiting Ability Trip’s web site at

Once in the zoo, we got priority seating on the bus tour, which is arguably the best way to see the entire zoo. Later, by the giant panda exhibit we noticed that we couldn’t use the moving walkway.

• Just about every city in the USA has an accessible information line. Once you leave the USA, keep in mind the meaning of accessible is not the same as ADA [American with Disabilities Act] here. The doorways are narrower, rooms are smaller, and sidewalks may be uneven. • Bring your disabled sticker, doctor’s phone number, and plenty of medications/shots. • On cruises, make sure the port is accessible. Usually, a smaller boat transfers you to land and most boats will not take a wheelchair. My husband paid a lot for an accessible room. We had to provide a letter from the doctor. • Keep on traveling. Don’t let these things stop you!

TOLL FREE NUMBER 1 800 344 4867

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Pacific South Coast Chapter 12121 Scripps Summit Drive, Suite 190 San Diego, CA 92131


SEPTEMBER 13 23-25

Scripps Lecture Series: Managing MS-Related Fatigue Challenge Walk MS -

OCTOBER 4 15 22 & 23 29

Scripps Lecture Series: Below the Belt: Bladder, Bowel & Sexual Dysfunction in MS Family Fun Day at Knott’s Berry Farm Bike MS Bay to Bay Tour - Moving Forward: The Newly Diagnosed Seminar


Scripps Lecture Series: MS & the Mind: Managing Cognitive Challenges MS Dinner Auction -


Sycuan Annual Family Holiday Party Rock ‘N’ Roll New Year’s Eve Half Marathon -

For more INFORMATION, visit the “Mark Your Calendars” section on page 7 OR 16



Fall 2011 MS Connection CAS  

Fall 2011 edition of MS Connection

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