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National Multiple Sclerosis Society

FALL 2013

MS Connection Newsletter

Colorado-Wyoming Chapter

Colorado-Wyoming Chapter

Changing lives

through giving Bike MS Recap







Affordable Care Act

Your Gifts Changing Lives

2013 Volunteer Awards


Annual Meeting Wrap-up

Letter from the president Dear Friends, Autumn has arrived and before thoughts turn to the holidays and year-end activities, I want to thank you for your continued commitment and generous gifts of support. This fall Hike MS Copper Mountain, MuckFest MS and the MS on the Move Luncheon concluded our successful fundraising events for 2013. Collectively, our signature events, which support a wide array of programs and resources that improve the lives of people affected by MS throughout Colorado and Wyoming, raised more than $6 million this year. Your gifts allow us to invest in the Society’s global research efforts that will continue to yield more treatments, as well as the core answers we all seek - the cause of and cure for this disease. There are many ways in which our supporters make gifts to the Society. It does not always mean writing a check. For example, your participation in our events does more than raise critical funds. You also help us grow awareness about the disease, make connections with people affected by MS and strengthen networks throughout our communities. Other supporters have created a Do-It-Yourself event to bring needed dollars to the Chapter. We have many friends who have received support from the Chapter and now want to ‘pay it forward’ by holding their own fundraising event so future needs can be met. This is truly a gift of inspiration. Companies are also choosing to support the Society instead of hosting an employee party or giving gifts to customers, and individuals are following suit. Instead of exchanging presents with friends and family, people are making a lasting gift to the Society that makes a difference to someone facing the daily challenges of living with MS. And never underestimate the gift of time; every volunteer makes an impact that goes beyond any words of thanks possible. Recently, the father of a 14-year-old told me how his child’s class had taken on fighting MS by making and selling bracelets at school. The children were excited by the challenge and learned a key life lesson – the joy of giving. We are all as smart as young teenagers, so I encourage you to get creative and think about the gift you can make by using your ideas, talents and networks to take us ever closer to a world free of MS. Thank you and best wishes for a joyful holiday season and prosperous New Year. Sincerely,

MS Connection is published by the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter, National MS Society 900 S. Broadway, Suite 250 Denver, CO 80209 Info: 800 FIGHT MS (344-4867) Newsletter Distribution—If you have a change of address or would like to receive MS Connection electronically, please call 800-344-4867. If you or someone you know has MS—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. Talk to your health care professional, or contact the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) to learn about ways to help manage multiple sclerosis and about the current research that may one day reveal a cure. The NMSS does not endorse products, services or manufacturers. Such names appear here solely because they are considered valuable information. The NMSS assumes no liability for the use of contents of any product or service mentioned. Information provided by the NMSS is based on professional advice and expert opinion. Information provided in response to questions do not constitute therapeutic recommendations or prescriptions. The NMSS recommends that all questions and information be discussed with a personal physician. The NMSS is dedicated to a world free of MS. Chapter President Carrie H. Nolan Board of Trustees Brandt Wilkins, Chair Kyle Ocasek, Chair-Elect Kathryn Spritzer, Secretary Rob Hartnett, Treasurer Carl Berglind Whit Conant John Corboy, MD Claudia Curry Hill Chris Doerr Marley Hodgson III Craig Lopez Frank Monteiro Richard Raymond, MD Randy Schapiro, MD Travis White Jo Wilson Emeritus Trustees George Garmany, MD Ralph Holden David Lord Janet Savage ©2013 National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Colorado-Wyoming Chapter

Carrie H. Nolan President


MS connection: FALL 2013



2013 Annual Meeting and Research Teleconference On Oct 17, 2013 more than 100 constituents tuned in as our Chapter President and Board members presented our shared promise and commitment to serving those affected by MS.

H I G H L I G HTS • $48 million invested in 350 research projects worldwide • • • •

The FDA approval of new disease-modifying therapies Our commitment to contributing $1.4 million to the NOW campaign Tremendous growth in Do-It-Yourself fundraising opportunities Successful advocacy efforts in Wyoming

• Creating a partnership with the Center for Neurorehabilitation Services who are leaders in MS care in their community • Special Recognition: 1) Volunteer of the Year, Dave Lord 2) Legislator of the Year, Representative Tim Stubson Dr. Richard • An overview of the years amazing advancements in research and where we are headed in the future.

Listen to a recording of the teleconference:

New Board Members Dr. Alison “Brooke” Allen neurologist and owner of Roaring Fork Neurology, PC and

Mountain Neurological Research Center in Basalt, and Shauna Giddings Schmitz, a CFO consultant, have joined the Chapter’s board of trustees. Dr. Allen has served on the Chapter’s Clinical Advisory Committee since 2011 where she works to improve health care for individuals living with MS in rural areas of Colorado and Wyoming. She has also participated in patient education programs, has made presentations about MS diagnosis and treatment to physicians in the Roaring Fork Valley and is a supporter of the Chapter’s Western Slope Walk MS and Hike MS fundraising events.

Shauna Giddings Schmitz consults with chief financial officers working in small businesses and nonprofit organizations. She will serve on the Finance Committee and looks forward to building on the Chapter’s fundraising successes to increase investment in the Society’s research and enhance direct support for people living with MS. “We thank Brooke and Shauna for their involvement with the Chapter and their commitment to the MS community,” said Chapter President Carrie Nolan. “The leadership, perspectives and contributions they provide will help continue our momentum, strengthen community awareness and generate the giving that will take us closer to our goal - a world free of MS.” Golden Circle Members Edythe and Stephen Alexander Robert Katz and Elana Amsterdam Ray Anderson and Nancy Speer Thomas Angell William Ansteth Brian Atwood Jack Ayan Roger and Margaret Ayan Bacon Family Foundation Dorris J. Baker Raymond Baker

The Chapter would like to thank all of our Golden Circle Club for supporting vital MS programs, services and research through generous donations made in 2013.

Barish Family Foundation Daniel Barry Dr. Frank Barry James and Sue Bartlett Raymond Barton Greg Belfor James Bender Alex Berger Carl and Meghan Berglind Casey Bishop Tim Blach La Verne Blecha

Gregg Blew John and Carolyn Bliley Dee Blue Catherine Boggs Jordan Bonicelli Steven Borick John and Vicki Box Brass Family Foundation Connie Breth Bart and Margie Brown Karen Burch David Burdick 1-800-FIGHT MS (344-4867)

Susan Burke Jeffrey Byrne Nicole and Patrick Callahan Jack and Meredith Callison Sue Cannon Nancy and Robert Card April Carlton Carol Ann Hearn Family Fund William Carter Alan Catlin Dave Cecil Kurt Cellar

Courtney Chapman Donna Chereck Chungsang Chu Phillip and Marje Clark Marilyn and Robert Clark Virginia Classon Bryan Close Frank Cohen Kenneth Cohen Richard and Marsha Cole Estate of Ruth Combs Roxanne Conlin

Elfriede and Gary Cooper Travis Cooper Dr. John and Alix Corboy Jean and David Cordova Joseph and Barbara Cordova Dr. Carl and Ondine Craig Shirley Cummings Diane and Edward Curland Claudia Curry Hill

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PROGRAMS Living with MS

With a Little Support

Tips on Balance and Fatigue Nearly 90% of people with MS have problems with balance and fatigue. A recent study by Dr. Jeffrey Hebert indicates that there is a strong relationship between impaired balance and symptomatic fatigue and is often associated with poorer quality of life. Dr. Hebert has developed an exercise program designed to help with balance, symptomatic fatigue and/or dizziness known as vestibular rehabilitation. The program consists of exercises that challenge the visual, sensory and vestibular (inner ear) systems as well as exercises that address eye movement dysfunction.

What to do if you Struggle with these Symptoms: • Be proactive. If not properly treated, progressive worsening of balance will continue regardless of noticeable disease activity. • Consult your Neurologist about your symptoms to help locate a physical therapist specializing in MS rehabilitation.

Dr. Hebert will be offering a program in Northern Colorado for people with MS on “Exercise as a Lifestyle”

At first, my MS only caused some balance issues and weakness on my right side. I was able to do stairs as long as there was a rail or a friend to lean on, and could walk a fairly good distance. These activities often wiped me out, but I routinely dismissed using an assistive aid.

with one hand while standing. The first day I got the tools I spent two hours in my garden.

One day, I happened to find a cane in my closet that I was storing for someone else. I decided to use it to walk along my uneven yard to fill the bird feeders; I then started using it while gardening to help me get up and down and in and out of flower beds. Yes, I was self-conscious about what the neighbors would think, but I felt the freedom of using the cane immediately.

My new mantra? “I cane so I can.” Now, I pull out my collapsible cane whenever I feel the need.

What I felt when I finished was a very satisfied tiredness, and not the dreaded MS fatigue.

I wish I didn’t have MS, and I dream of gaining back what I have lost, but in the meantime, I will continue to use my cane, adaptive gardening tools and whatever else I find I need. Where I used to see assistive aids as pointing out my weaknesses, I am now aware that they allow me to do what satisfies my soul. n

One day I did an online search for “adap- by Veronica McTiernan, avid gardener tive gardening tools” and learned about ergonomic tools with extensions and Westchester County, N.Y. forearm cuffs. They allow me to garden

Upcoming Programs Online Emerging Therapies: What does the Future Offer?, Nov. 12 The New Healthcare Changes, Nov. 20 Eating Well, Eating Easy, Dec. 5 Strategies for Individuals & Families Living with MS, Dec. 10 Favorable Tax Deductions, Dec. 18 Northern Colorado Know Your Treatment Options, Nov. 8 A Treatment Option for MS, Nov. 12 Positive Approaches to MS, Nov. 12, Ft. Collins

Fitness as a Lifestyle, Nov. 20

Denver Metro Area Medicare Part D- Enrollment, Nov. 14 Medicare Part D- Enrollment, Nov. 15 What's New in Healthcare in 2014, Nov. 17

MS101 for Newly Diagnosed, Nov. 25 MS101 for Newly Diagnosed, Dec. 9 Holiday Celebrations Wyoming: Nov. 23 Ramada Inn, Riverside WY Northern Colorado: Dec. 4 CB & Potts, Collindale CO Western Slope: Nov. 23, Ramada Inn, Riverside WY

Weds. Nov. 20th | 6:30-8 pm McKee Wellness Center 2000 N. Boise Ave., Loveland CO



Learn more and register today! 1-800-344-4867 • MS connection: FALL 2013

ADVOCACY Open for business

Connect for Health Colorado Q&A with Sharon O’Hara, executive vice president of the Colroado-Wyoming Chapter, and recently appointed Connect for Health Colorado board member. Q: What is Connect for Health Colorado? A: A nonprofit established to address the health insurance needs of business with two to 50 employees, Coloradans who buy their own health insurance, and are uninsured or don’t have access to affordable coverage. The organization is governed by a board of directors appointed by the governor and legislature. Wyoming has chosen to adopt the Federal Exchange instead of establishing a state exchange. Q: What is Connect for Health Colorado's Mission? A: Our mission is to increase access, affordability and choice for individuals and small employers purchasing health insurance in Colorado. The health plans offered will provide more comprehensive coverage in compliance with new federal requirements.

Q: Why did the Gov. Hickenlooper select you to serve on this board? A: I believe he saw the need to have a strong consumer voice to advocate for all people who have a chronic disease including people living with MS. I have spent my career building collaborative relationships and working with state and local policymakers to address complex social issues. I hope to use my experience and skills to make positive difference. Q: What impact will Connect for Health Colorado have on people living with MS? A: There are many benefits, but one in particular is that people living with MS or any chronic disease will be able to sign up for coverage regardless of pre-existing health conditions. Additionally, financial assistance to purchase health insurance will be available to nearly 500,000 Coloradans based on their income.

am very passionate about expanding " Iaffordable health insurance coverage and

want to be a strong voice for people living with chronic diseases like MS. There should be a new song – I am Patient hear me roar! -Sharon O’Hara

Important Dates! • Oct. 1 – Mar. 31: Open enrollment for 2014 coverage • Dec. 15: Purchase insurance for coverage on Jan. 1, 2014


Affordable Care Act Experts at your fingertips

Certified Application Counselors We know the Affordable Health Care Act is complicated and the new Health Insurance Marketplaces can be confusing. Evaluating your options is important and we are here to help you connect to the best plan for you! Our Certified Application Counselors are available to help you find the plan to fit your individual needs, answer your questions and walk you through the application process.

Get Connected Today!: 1. Evaluate your current coverage: What do you like about your current plan? What isn't covered by your current plan? Make a list of your needs to help evaluate your options.

2. Contact LeeAnn Bellum: OR 303-698-5407

• Feb. 15: Purchase insurance for coverage on March 1, 2014. Avoid the tax penalty • Mar. 31: Last day to purchase insurance unless you experience a “life change event”

Health Benefit Exchanges: Colorado: Wyoming: 1-800-FIGHT MS (344-4867)


EVENTS Paving the Way

Bike MS Rides Raise $3.8 Million

Congratulations and a huge thank you to everyone who supported our Newmont Bike MS, presented by Point B and Bike MS Wyoming, presented by First Interstate Band of Wyoming rides! This year more than 3,200 cyclists with the support of nearly 33,000 donors and 575 volunteers pedaled to this year’s goal of $3.8 million!

Special thanks to our 2013 Bike MS Sponsors ®

6,600 bottle of water 5,000 PB&J Sandwiches 16,000 chocolate chip cookies

Bike MS 2014 Event Dates! >> Bike MS Colorado: June 28 – 29 >> Bike MS Wyoming : August 16 – 17

Atlantic Ocean or Bust! Bike MS Cyclist John Fedak Goes the Distance to Defeat MS John Fedak has a big heart and a steadfast commitment to finding a cure for MS. At 70-years-young, he is one of a handful of people who have ridden in all 28 Colorado Bike MS rides and this year he a took on an additional cycling challenge – a 2,200-mile bike trek from Thornton, Colorado to the Atlantic Ocean to raise awareness and funds.


“The month-long ride was a rewarding experience,” Fedak said. “ My two cycling partners and I rode about 85 miles a day and met many wonderful people. I enjoyed explaining why we were doing the ride and people were generous and supportive. In the end we raised more than $3,000.” Fedak initially got involved with Bike MS as a way to pursue his interest in cycling. Along the way he found much more – an inspiring cause as well as a way to help others. Although no member of his family lives with MS, Fedak shared, “MS and I have become close because of individuals such as Kathie Vanbuskirk, Bonnie Edwards and others I have met over the years during the rides. They all seem to have such positive attitudes because of the true involvement and dedication of the Chapter and its staff.

MS connection: FALL 2013


Successful Event Season

2013 Top Event Fundraisers

This Fall's Events were huge success-- providing unique opportunities for people to support the common goal of ending MS forever. Hike MS Copper Mountain: participants enjoyed

Colorado’s pristine high country as they traversed a variety of trails, taking fun and fundraising to new heights. Save the date: July 26, 2014


Tim Beaudin $122,170


Lesley Osen $26,952

WALK Frank Monteiro $55,525

MuckFest MS: gave 2,000 Muckers the chance to test


their endurance through this 5-mile course featuring a gauntlet of muck-filled mazes, pits and craters with over twenty gigantic steel obstacles all in the name of a world free of multiple sclerosis! Save the date: September 13, 2014

MS On the Move Luncheon: An elegant affair, held



Julie Brubaker $18,225 Ali McGreal $8,587


at the Grand Hyatt, where several hundred attendees were inspired by Ronda Giangreco, who hosted 52 weekly dinners as her way of not letting MS take charge of her life following her diagnosis. Save the date: September, 2014

Top 3 Corp Teams Top 3 Corp Teams Left Hand Brewing 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty $230,653 $74,655 Top 3 F&F Teams Top 3 F&F Teams RawHinies Frank’s Entourage $263,294 $56,655 Top 3 Hike Teams CUREageous Stampede $18,825.00 Top 3 MuckFest Teams Greatest Show on Dirt $24,211.63

Walk MS and Bike MS Event Registration Open Nov. 8!

You raised over $350,000 to create a world free of MS!

2013 MS Spirit Award Congratulations to Marc Spritzer, director of CoBiz Advisors, the business development division within CoBiz Financial, recipient of the Chapter’s Spirit Award for his philanthropic leadership, personal involvement in the community and advocacy for the MS community. The recognition was presented during the MS On the Move Luncheon on September 24. “We are honored to recognize Marc for his outstanding commitment to the community,” said Chapter President Carrie Nolan. “He is a passionate individual and leader in the Denver

community and for the National MS Society. His dedication to making connections and fostering relationships has benefited our community and the lives of people living with MS.” Spritzer has been involved in the financial services industry for more than 23 years and is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Institute’s Denver Chapter. He is a founding member of Social Venture Partners Denver and the Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (CAMA). An active community member, he currently serves on several boards including The Denver Health 1-800-FIGHT MS (344-4867)

Foundation’s Level 1 Society, the Downtown Denver Partnership, the Jewish Community Foundation and CAMA. n


RESEARCH Living Proof

Research Making an Impact Each year 3,000 Newmont Bike MS cyclists ride 150 miles to raise funds that support Chapter programs and promising Society research. Many positive changes have occurred over the course of the ride’s 28-year history – most notably MS has gone from being an untreatable disease to having 10, FDA treatments available with more on the horizon. Riding with first-year team ALTUS Environmental, Bike MS participant Jeff Reichmuth personally knows how research efforts have benefitted him and others living with MS. Thirteen years ago at age 35, Reichmuth was diagnosed with MS. Today, he works as a chemical engineer with Altus Engineering and credits his health and ability to ride in the Newmont Bike MS to early treatment

Golden Circle Members Continued Nancy Curtin Glenn and Cecilia Curtis Christine Cutler Rivet Daigre Dr. Robert and Lenore Damrauer Gerald Dancy Jenna Daurio David W and Jill S Hughes Charitable Fund Cheri Davis Jackie and James Davis David and Pamela Decker Candace Dejong David Denman Debbie and Doug Dennis DeRoy Testamentary Foundation Allison and Jason DeYoung Diane & Charles Gallagher Family Fund Katharine Dickson Kim and Christy Dittmar Chris and Mary Doerr Cathy Dols Donald F. and Shirley T. Hastings Family Fund Judee Donner Andrew Dudiak Scott and Nancy Dumpert Susan and James Duncan Diane Duplissis Dorothy Dwyer James and Andrea Eckroth Bob and Margaret Eddy Stan and Carol Eilers Rick Eldridge Mike Elings Steve Ells Suzanne and Mark Emeis Alan and Linda Englander Ron Erickson


Estate of Eva Feld Debra Fagan Carolyn and George Fancher Sarah Faubel Estate of Seymour Feder Dr. Andrew and Chrissy Fedorowicz David Ferguson Kevin Filter Kevin and Susan Fink Marilyn Firstenberg Chris Fling Cheri and Michael Foss Anne Foster and Kurt Duldner Mark and Nancy Foster Angela Fox Frances W. Burton Foundation Fritzi & Herbert Owens Family Foundation Kristin Froehlich Jim Fuqua Brendan and Shirl Gale Paula and Stan Galloway Dee Garden John and Martha Gart Sherri and David Giger Darlene Gilson Troy and Erin Girolamo Peggy Goldman Todd Goldman Ginger Graham Andrea Grant Caithlin Grimes Douglas and Ann Grissom Denise and Steve Gunter Bradley and Melissa Gustafson Nick and Anne Hackstock Gabriel Hammond Melody Hardy Chance Harlow

and positive lifestyle changes. “The Chapter helped me out when I was first diagnosed and was a great information base, Reichmuth said. “ I immediately made lifestyle changes. I exercise more, follow a low saturated-fat diet, avoid stress and learned techniques to calm my mind. I think it’s really important to listen to your body, as it can guide you to better health. “Although my health is stable, MS is challenging and every day is a battle. Still, I know I’m lucky to live in a time when multiple treatments options are available. When one therapy didn’t work for me, there was another one to try. My great aunt had MS before treatments were available and I can’t imagine what Harry and Jody Love Family Fund Rob and Melissa Hartnett Steve Harvey Crystal Hathaway Kevin and Danielle Heersink Eric Heinecke James Hertwig Tad Herz Chad Hester Sarah and Eric Hilty David Hitz Marley and Jennifer Hodgson Linda and Marley Hodgson Jr. Gerald Hohenstein and Beth Spellicy Ralph Holden Estate of Charles Holtzer Helen Horii Anthony Horinek Dirk Howell Eric Howland John Hruza Margie and Dave Hunter Kaye and Mike Hurtt Katie Jardine Michael and Twila Jenkins Mary Johnson Alison Jones Cheryl Jones Keith Kaiser Joseph Kasputys Stephen and Kim Keen Mike and Elizabeth King David Kirby Walter and Harriet Knox Koelbel Family Foundation R B Kolbe Gary Koldyke Gloria and Mike Komppa Joseph Kopchik David and Bridget Kornder DeeAnna and Edwin Kraft Robert and Patricia Krause

Mark Krivel Steve and Katherine Landmann Jack Landon John and Judith Lanning Scott Lawson Denise Lazarus Patricia Lechler Daniel Leever Donald Leforge Susan and Stephen Lehman Judy and Donald Leidy Chari and Michael Leleck Dr. Stuart and Arlene Lerman Patrick Lindenbach Dr. Mark Linkow Mary and Steven Locke Craig Lopez David Lord Loretta and Leigh Norgren Foundation Monty and Paula Loud Arthur Lovetere Steve and Linda Loy Daniel and Juana Lozano LP Brown Foundation Chester Luby Howard Lutnick Dr. Ford and Rebecca Lux Dennis Lynch Ray Lyon Gary and Debbie Mandelbaum Kim and Richard Mariotti Jim and Nancy Markisohn Stephen Marsters Marusi Family Foundation Leonard and Sylvia Marx Mark Mashburn Laurel Mauch Marilyn May E. Katie McClure Matthew McGee Jean and Daniel McKee

that must have been like. “This is the first time I’ve ridden in Bike MS and I’ve never done anything like this before. It was a great ride and very inspiring to be with so many people working toward one cause. I was glad to be able to help raise funds that will lead to more treatments, advancements and eventually a cure. I look forward to riding with the ALTUS team again next year,” he added. n

Melissa McNeil Kathy Melies Ken and Lisa Melies Anne and Thomas Merrill Larry and Melanie Meyer Mary Milgrom Allen Miller Andy Miller Carol Miller Ellen Miller Travis and Colette Mitchell Chad Mitchiner Frances Mitterer Daniel Myers and Gretchen Mitterer James and Ellie Mohler Frank and Sandra Monteiro Russell and Kelley Morgan Roger and Elaine Morin Morse Family Foundation The Honorable Mary Mullarkey and Tom Korson Deb and Chris Munley Mark Murphy Charles Nail Jr. Marcia Naiman David and Katie Nichols Carrie Nolan Julie and John Obering Duncan and Jennifer O'Brien Gary O'Bryan Kyle and Sarah Ocasek Beverly and Ronald Ocasek Saloman Ojalvo Deborah and Shawn O'Neil Pamela and Frank Orten David Ottewell Charles Paul Bob Peterson Cynthia Petrow Phyllis M Coors Foundation D L Pickering Mary and Thomas Pond Karen and Jim Possehl

Jamie Presgrove Puja Memorial Fund Jane Quinette Muthukumarappan Ramurthy James Rasmuson James and Frances Ratte Brad and Tamara Rauer Patricia Rawlings Dick and Jane Raymond Craig and Wendy Reagor Roberta Ripley Jerry Roberts Jesse Rodriguez David Roitman Edith Russell Steven Saba Jennifer Sales and Greg Lyon Sandra Sales Nedra San Filippo Gary Sanders Ann Sandquist Matthew and Kimberly Sands Raymond Satter Susan Saul Andrew and Jeannie Saur Janet Savage and Ed Godin Dr. Randall and Cathy Schapiro Gail Schneck Nicholas Schommer Thom and Joani Schultz Annetta and Roy Schwalm Mark Schwarz Norman Scott Dr. William and Kristi Shaffer Mary Shanahan Bob and Lori Shaw Bonnie Shawver Krista Shuman Alessio Signorini Joseph Silvestri Edward Smith Kathleen Smith

MS connection: FALL 2013


Your Gifts are Changing Lives Financial contributions directed to the Independent Spirit Fund and No Opportunity Wasted (NOW) Campaign have a real impact on the lives of people living with multiple sclerosis in our community. Your gifts help fund cutting-edge research and create hope and opportunity for people living with MS by keeping them mobile, social and independent.

Independent Spirit Fund Nothing is more frustrating than the loss of mobility and independence associated with MS. We often take routine activities like driving, getting in and out of our homes and safely showering for granted but for people living with multiple sclerosis it can mean a loss of freedom and independence. The Independent Spirit Fund provides access to vital services, equipment, modifications and technology to keep people living with MS in their homes and independent. After living with MS for more than 20 years, Belinda Bellis reached the point where getting up and down the stairs of her two-story home was a safety challenge and limiting how she lived.

“Climbing the stairs took me 35 minutes so I could only manage to go up or down the stairs once a day. Once downstairs, I was there for the day. Installing the chair lift changed my life! The sense of independence and freedom I feel is unbelievable! Now I can go up and down the stairs whenever I want. Thank you for my newfound sense of freedom and independence and allowing me to enjoy my home again.” – Belinda Bellis

No Opportunity Wasted The National MS Society is the largest private funder of MS research in the world. We support and fund research activities spanning ALL research stages. Our unique approach drives the pursuit of all promising avenues that can impact those living with multiple sclerosis. We are committed to making an even greater investment in research and mobilizing the global research community to find solutions for people living with progressive MS. We must all be leaders in achieving our $250 million fundraising goal to move MS research further and faster than ever before. Now is the time to make things happen. Join us.

Donate Today! Robert Smith Sid Smith Luci Smits Minyoung Sohn Carol and George Solich Tara Sorenson Richard and Donna Suess Kimberly Sperry Katy and Marc Spritzer Scott Stallard and Marlu Allan Dr. Douglas States Leonard and Angela Stegman Estate of Carol Stehley Jan and Bob Steiert Lynette and Bradley Steininger Coy and Catherine Stewart Jamie Stewart Michael Stewart

Gary and Teresa Stewart Scott Stinson Robert and Celia Stretmater Jim Strouse Clarence and Emily Stump Chuck and Edna Sullivan John Svoboda TWC Foundation Inc. Timothy Tait Thomas Terhune The Autrey Foundation The Blackstone Charitable Foundation The Byron Chrisman Trust The James Family Fund The John & Kathleen Schreiber Foundation The Melrene Fund

Since the Independent Spirit Fund's founding in fall of 2012 your gifts have helped over 70 people remain independent by providing assistive technology devices, durable medical equipment, and home and auto modifications.

There are more potential therapies in development than at any other time in history. Generous Funding, extensive collaboration and our commitment to research have resulted in immense progress: • Earlier treatment through faster more accurate means to diagnose MS • The FDA approval of ten diseasemodifying therapies • Breakthroughs in identifying which genes are involved in MS


303-698-5434 The Rosemary & David Olsen Foundation The Spritzer Family Fund The Stein Family Charitable Foundation The Susan & Ralph Freydberg Foundation Inc. The Toney Family Foundation The Trimarco Family Fund The Watson Family Fund Robert Thomas Gregg Thompson Thomas Toomey Rick Trevino Shane True Dirk Vandersterre Anjean and John Vandervliet 1-800-FIGHT MS (344-4867)

Independent Spirit Fund Independence for People living with MS

Rich VanDewater Mike Vankonynenburg James Veldkamp Bekim Veseli Joseph and Linda Vumbaco Bruce and Toni Walkowski Midge and Bill Wallace Frank Walsh Dave and Susie Wehrfritz Richard Weil Wet Paint Communications, LLC Suellen and Travis White Brandt Wilkins and David Alexander Linda Willetto William C Kuzell Foundation Ann Myers Williams and Bob Williams

Peter Williams Wilson Family Foundation Jo Wilson William Wilson Sam and Leigh Anne Winegrad Ross Winkelman Nancy and Mark Wood Karen Woods John Woollam Arthur and Janet Worrall Phil Yastrow Shelby and Sybil Yastrow Kevin Yoder and Dr. Bekkey Wiebe Margaret York Martin Zinn III


VOLUNTEER Volunteers Ramp Up Support to Aid Independence

Diagnosed with MS in 1994, Casper resident Jackie remained independent and mobile with the assistance of a walker. In 2012 her MS progressed to the point that she needed to use a wheelchair and navigating the exterior stairs to her home became a major issue. Chapter Care Manager Dayna Bennett arranged to have Jackie’s home adapted for wheelchair access by replacing the entry steps with a ramp, but without a railing she was scared she would fall into the neighboring rocks. Program Manager Jim Gunderson and MS volunteer Shey recruited four volunteers and two of Jackie’s grandchildren, Nathan and Rachael, to help make enhancements to the ramp. Using materials donated by

2013 Volunteer Awards Grand Junction

Programs Volunteer of the Year Walk Volunteer of the Year Rookie of the Year


Volunteer Fundraising of the Year Bike Volunteer of the Year Walk Volunteer of the Year Programs Volunteer of the Year Client Impact Award Rookie of the Year

Fort Collins

Events Volunteer of the Year Programs Volunteer of the Year Behind the Scenes Volunteer All-Star Volunteers

Faye Smith Carol McCurry Tom O'Donnell

local home improvement stores the team of volunteers added a railing and replaced the ramp base with a smooth cement landing. Thanks to their time and effort, Jackie is now able to safely use the ramp on her own and has a renewed sense of independence! “It’s absolutely amazing what happens when a group of volunteers comes together to work on a project like this. To see the energy and shared neighborly love is a wonderful thing to experience. If you’ve never volunteered before, I encourage everyone to do so. The reward far outweighs the effort,” Jim Gunderson, Wyoming Program Manager. n

Sign up to volunteer!

Colorado SPrings Programs Volunteer of the Year Special Events Volunteer of the Year Community Partnership Award Mission Advocate


Christine Payne Doc Cowles HealthSouth Rob Harasimowicz

Richard Pershall Charlie Stiffler Tracy Livingston Negar Niazi Doug Younger Crystal Perry

Walk Volunteer of the Year Bike Volunteer of the Year Enduring Spirit Award Support Group Leader of the Year Volunteer Coordinator of the Year Walk Committee Member of the Year

Tara Sorenson Enderby Family Coach Dennis Arner Tom Mangan Shey Snapp Sarah Jordan

Jim Castaneda Annie Johnson Ellen Wilson Paul and Debbie Joncas

Chapter Volunteer of the Year:

David Lord

Take our quick survey and tell us your volunteer interests! connect our families The Giving Tree Helping in need during the holidays Each holiday season Care Managers nominate families struggling during the holidays and ask them to give us their holiday wish lists. MS Society staff and volunteers have the opportunity to adopt one of the families and make their lives a little brighter during the holiday season. We help make the lives of 25 families a little brighter during the holiday season each year but many more still have needs. If you are interested in getting involved with the giving tree please contact Amanda Wolz at


Frequently requested items:

• Blankets • Clothes • Movies • Kitchen items

Northern Colorado Senior Program Manager Retires


The Chapter wants to recognize and thank Dolores Kueffler for her contributions to the MS community and her 11 and a half-year’s of service to the National MS Society.

“You’ve given so much to so many people over the years. When I was first diagnosed you made me feel so at ease. After listening as if you had nothing else to do that day, you answered so many of my questions, lined me up with support groups, told me about CNS, and assured me that I wasn¹t alone. You gave me HOPE and made me feel like a person, not just another statistic. Thank you for sharing your gifts and for all you¹ve done for me." - Kathy Tripcony

New Wyoming Office Location: Casper, WY Office Petroleum Bldg., Suite 103 111 West 2nd St. Casper, WY 82601 307-265-3080, Ext. 15701

Cheyenne, WY Office 2112 Evans Ave Cheyenne, WY 82001 307-433-9559

Congratulations to the Aspen Town and Trail (TNT)! Their event was a huge success, raising over $29,00 toward a world free of MS.

November is National Caregiver Month!

Help us acknowledge all of the wonderful work being done each day by those who care for people living with MS! Send us a note telling us why you appreciate your caregiver and we will send them a gift with a copy of your note to thank them for the work they do.

Please include the following information: • Your caregiver's name • Your name • The address where we should send the gift • A brief note expressing why you appreciate your caregiver

“This is an amazingly rewarding experience. I’ve had the same family every year. The first year I brought the gifts to the family’s home they invited me in to have soapillas with them while their son, who was wearing 4 shirts because of the cold, opened his gifts. It’s what this time of year is all about” – Amanda Wolz Giving Tree Coordinator

New Support Group for Men Living with MS. 70four70 MS Men's Group meets the first Saturday of the month to discuss the impact of MS on their lives, medications, challenges and triumphs.

9:30 am | Murphy Creek Tavern and Restaurant | Aurora, CO All men living with MS are invited! E-mail: and visit for listings of support groups across Colorado and Wyoming

Colorado GIVES DAY 2013! To get connected to the Chapter’s many resources call 1-800-FIGHT-MS, Monday – Friday 7AM – 5PM (MST). We are available at any stage for any need at any time.


Broadway Station 900 S. Broadway, Ste. 250 Denver, CO 80209


1-800-Fight-MS (344-4867)

Fall 2013 MS Connection Newsletter  

Fall 2013 MS Connection Newsletter  

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