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GEORGIA CHAPTER

MOVING TOWARD A WORLD FREE OF MS | VOLUME 4• EDITION 3

Walk MS: Georgia 2012 Presented by

In this Issue:

Adaptive Gardening Page 5

MS Service Day Page 10

Walk MS New Sponsor Page 13


1-800-344-4867 Publication of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Georgia Chapter • 1117 Perimeter Center West, Ste. E101 • Atlanta, GA 30338 Chairman • William J. Holley II Secretary • Diane Flannery Treasurer • Keith Keller Chapter President • Roy A. Rangel MS Connection Editor • Jared Miley 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. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society ‘s mission is to mobilize people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS.

Are you looking for a Self-Help Group or Peer Supporter in your community? Whether you just received a diagnosis of MS or have been living with it for a long time, the National MS Society, GA Chapter has great programs available to you where you can find support and experiencedbased tips on how to live a productive and happy life with MS. Self-Help Groups meet regularly for educational and social purposes, allowing members to express feelings and provide support to one another. Members share a belief that positive personal change can happen through individual effort with the support of others. Peer Supporters are trained individuals living with MS, or are a family member of someone living with MS. Via the telephone, our Peer Supporters offer information, companionship, emotional support and encouragement to peers living with MS. There is no cost to participate in a Self-Help Group or Peer Support Program. To request services or if you are interested in starting a Self-Help Group or becoming a Peer Supporter, call the Georgia Chapter Office at 1-800-344-4867 or e-mail Stephanie at stephanie.shapiro@nmss.org See complete listing of Self-Help Groups in Georgia on Page 21.

© 2012 National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Georgia Chapter

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NEWLy DIAGNOSED

SOCIETy WORkSHOPS: A POINT OF CONNECTION by HELEN RUSSON

Nadja (middle), diagnosed in 2008

From the moment the doctor told me, “you have MS,” everything changed. I felt a wide range of emotions: relief (because I didn’t have a brain tumor), anger (although I wasn’t sure who to be angry at) and fear of the future. What was this disease, and how would it impact me and the people who were important to me? I had no idea what my new life would be like, or how to get started on it. Like many people, I first turned to research. This was in 1997, before the Internet was in full swing (at least at my house). So I went to the library, trying to learn about MS. I had heard about the National MS Society, but for days I was hesitant to call the number. Finally, I made the call, which led to my second-most important discovery of the year: my chapter was about to begin a series of in-person workshops for people who had just been diagnosed with MS. Each workshop featured a different guest speaker. On the first evening, a neurologist spoke in practical terms about the disease. Her

presentation included a slideshow illustrating how white blood cells inexplicably start attacking the protective coating of the nerves (myelin sheaths). She had actually brought a ruptured electrical cord, exposing the frayed wires underneath. That simple prop was probably the most effective tool of my MS education. It helped me realize that if I’m having a hard time lifting my leg, it’s not because I’m lazy or weak-willed. It’s because of those wellmeaning (but very misguided) white blood cells. Afterward, the neurologist answered our questions about the day-to-day realities of living with MS. She also talked about some ongoing clinical trial studies and invited us to learn more about them. (I ended up participating in several such studies, all of which were very rewarding.)

Knowledge Is Power is a six-week, free, at-home educational program for people who are newly diagnosed. Mail or email formats. To register, call 1-800-344-4867, or visit www.nationalMSsociety.org/knowledge.

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NEWLy DIAGNOSED

Each workshop was similarly organized. A speaker would give a presentation and then answer questions. We An in-person workshop at the were introduced Central North Carolina Chapter to experts in medicine, mental health, yoga and nutrition. At some point each evening, we broke into small groups to discuss what we had learned. I remember that one of the most fun and empowering activities was learning how to get a good workout while sitting down. (Who knew?) Throughout these programs, chapter staff told us about their services and resources, which included numerous opportunities to volunteer. I soon started volunteering and I haven’t stopped yet! New frontiers of course, things have changed since 1997. While many chapters continue to offer in-person workshops similar to what I experienced, they have also begun exploring additional ways to help people newly diagnosed with MS connect to the Society— and to each other. “Almost every home now has access to the Internet and that seems to be a primary source for information, especially for tech-savvy people,” noted Mary Roberts, Associate Vice President of the South Central Region. “So we are doing our research to find new and creative ways to reach people.” 4 4

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Teleconferencing, videoconferencing and webcasts are a few options. “We plan to have a program in one site and broadcast that program to other sites across our region,” said Roberts. Some chapters are also trying out new formats for workshops, such as offering quarterly workshops with a nurse, or teaming up with an area MS center or university to provide workshops led by doctors. Peer support programs are another way to connect. Anyone newly diagnosed can call 1-866-673-7436 to have a confidential telephone conversation with a peer with MS through the Society’s MSFriends program. or they can visit www.nationalMSsociety.org/ onlinepeerconnections to search through online profiles of trained peer support volunteers. once matched, participants can connect confidentially and one-on-one via telephone or email. To discover the full spectrum of resources that the Society offers, call us or 1-800-344-4867 to be connected to an MS Navigator®. MS is not a virtual disease, and the computer isn’t a substitute for personal connection, but we are working to combine the best of both worlds, looking for ways to embrace the information age and to continue to provide the healing power of human contact. Helen Russon is a volunteer at the Oregon chapter.


LIVING WITH MS

THE DIRT ON ADAPTIVE GARDENING

ledge or tabletop you can roll up to.” Reiser points out that people need little more than a patch of ground to get started—and that patch of ground can even be in a container. Nowadays, there are few limits to what can be grown in pots. “Breeders have come up with plants that are compact—and containers need less weeding,” Reiser points out. A garden open to all Enabling Gardens in Angleton, Texas, south of Houston, focuses on containers and raised beds, according to Cynthia leonard, one of two dozen active volunteers. “We welcome groups and individuals, anyone who wants to learn how to do accessible gardening,” she says.

Staci, diagnosed in 1985

Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in the United States, one that can benefit people both mentally and physically, as well as provide fresh and healthy food. “Gardening gives me control over something in a situation where I don’t always have control,” says laurie Reiser, diagnosed with MS in 2003. “No matter where you live, or who you are, you can garden.” Reiser is a Colorado Master Gardener who teaches adaptive gardening in the western part of the state through the local extension office of Colorado State University. “Adaptive gardening is simply about creating your own space,” she emphasizes. “There are lots of reasons to adapt. you can put a garden at your height—on a patio, balcony, railing, steps, cinder blocks, window

Participants learn how to use rain barrels and raised beds, and to garden most suitably for their climate. The garden has 18 planter boxes of different sizes, some of which “have a horizontal board across the top where people can sit and work on the bed.”

Lettuce at Enabling Gardens

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LIVING WITH MS

RESEARCH

a stool or folding chair on a deck, or under a tree, umbrella or arbor. Wear a hat, gloves and a cooling vest, or carry a spray bottle filled with cool water. (Call 1-800-344-4867 for information about cooling resources or visit www.msassociation.org/programs/cooling.) Set a timer to remind you when to take a break. Ergonomic gardening tools, such as add-on handles for trowels or extendable hoes, can help make gardening tasks easier. Go to www. abledata.com and search for “garden tools” to get an idea of what’s available. Laurie Reiser (left) and volunteers transfer plants to a raised bed.

It also features an A-frame trellis called a “cattle panel” that vines, squash and cucumbers grow on. “Someone in a wheelchair can roll under it and reach right up and pick fruits and vegetables,” says leonard, who was diagnosed with MS in 1997. leonard’s been gardening for seven or eight years, starting with flowers in pots, then moving on to tomatoes. She and her husband “picked beets and mustard greens in January, and we had fresh tomatoes for Christmas dinner,” she says. “It sure is nice to be able to step outside and get good fresh vegetables. I know how they’ve been grown and what’s been put on the soil. Gardening gives me a sense of peace and well-being.” Get prepared Gardening is a “hot” activity in more ways than one. To beat the sun, do outdoor work early or late in the day. Set up a shady rest area with

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Reiser suggests enlisting a buddy, such as a friend or volunteer from a Scout troop or 4-H club, to help with tasks like hauling bags of potting soil. local community gardens, botanical gardens or garden clubs may also offer communal space and resources. Search online for barrier-free, adaptive or accessible gardening or ask your public library if they have any books on the topic to get an idea of what’s possible. And then in a few months, enjoy the fruits—literally—of your labors!


NEWS

ONLINE PEER SuPPORT Do you currently volunteer with us in a peer support program, or would you like to learn how to do so? Are you interested in participating in a new nationwide peer support program? If yes, read on … The Society’s online Peer Connections program is currently seeking people with MS or family members of people with MS who are interested in becoming peer support volunteers. As a volunteer, your profile would be included in an online database, searchable by demographics such as age or mobility status. once a person with MS selects you as their peer support person, you would then arrange to speak one-on-one either via email or telephone on an agreed-upon topic. All conversations are confidential. The program begins this March. Visit www. nationalMSsociety.org/ onlinepeerconnections, or contact Monica Aden, online Peer Connections program coordinator, at 1-303-6986100, ext. 15169, Monica. Aden@nmss.org to learn more.

bLOG OPENS DOORS FOR MS COMMuNITy

—what topics you think are under discussed if not just plain ignored by the MS ‘authorities’ out there?” Join in the conversation at blog.nationalMSsociety.org.

Café con Leche

Society blogger Nicole Lemelle

Fatigue, isolation, doctor’s visits—and yes, sex with MS—are just a few of the topics covered in the Society’s new blog at blog. nationalMSsociety.org. Not much is off-limits to Society bloggers and commenters. Instead, people with MS and MS specialists dig into very personal issues—and universal ones. “In these cyber pages, we intend to open up the doors which have long been closed (by society, by our families and—quite frankly— by many of us living with MS) to discussion,” wrote blogger Trevis Gleason on January 4. “To that end, I’d like to take this opportunity to ask you—the readers of The Unspeakable Bits

Invitamos a las personas hispanas/latinas con esclerosis múltiple a participar una vez al mes en un grupo telefónico gratis totalmente en español. Para más información o para inscribirse llame al 1-800-344-4867, opción 3. (Hispanic /latino people with MS can participate by phone in a free monthly Spanish-language support group. For more information, call 1-800-344-4867 and press 3.)

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ADVOCACy

kEEPING uP WITH HEALTH REFORM by KIMbERLy CALDER

With various provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) kicking in and legislative challenges to the ACA, it can be hard to keep up—particularly on the state level. Here are some Society-vetted sources for reliable and up-to-date information about the impact of the ACA in our area. The National Conference of State Legislatures at www.ncsl.org has a whole section on Health Reform that includes a series of brief reports on a variety of ACA-related topics. The site also includes a searchable database, updated every Tuesday, of state legislation related to the ACA. Search 2012 legislation by state, topic, keyword, status or primary sponsor. The National Academy for State Health Policy at www.statereforum.org offers an online network called State Refor(u)m, which enables direct connection and informationsharing between policymakers, activists and others working on health reform implementation. The federal government’s official site on the ACA at www.healthcare.gov is the best source for hard numbers on the ACA. Click on “The Healthcare law and you,” then “Implementation 8 8

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Resources” to view an interactive map of the U.S. Here you can click to see, for example, how many young adults are now insured in each state, the number of residents who no longer face a lifetime limit on their insurance coverage, the amount of new funds for community health centers and more. To follow changes in ACA legislation and other public policy issues that specifically affect people with MS, check in with Society MS Activists at Twitter @MSActivist and visit www. MSactivist.blogspot.com. The Society also regularly updates Frequently Asked Questions on its website at www.nationalMSsociety.org/ ACAFAQ, as more is understood about how the law could impact people with MS. Kimberly Calder is the Society’s Director of Federal Health Affairs and Insurance Policy.

MS ACTIVISTS HELP ADD MS TO COMPASSIONATE ALLOWANCES LIST Thanks to hard work by Society activists, an aggressive form of MS now qualifies for the Compassionate Allowances Program, which expedites the review of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applications at the Social Security Administration. Thanks to passionate and articulate testimony by MS Activists Dr. John Booss and yvonne Brown at a March 2011 Autoimmune Hearing held by the Social Security Administration, “malignant MS” was added to the Compassionate Allowances list, allowing people with more aggressive forms of the disease to qualify for SSDI more quickly.


RESEARCH

SuRVEy SAyS WALkING ISSuES IMPORTANT TO ADDRESS

Susan Cohn-Child, diagnosed in 1995, walks with son Zach

Seventy percent of people with MS who have difficulty walking see that as the most challenging aspect of managing their disease, according to a recent survey sponsored by the National MS Society and Acorda Therapeutics, maker of Ampyra, a drug intended to improve walking.

Respondents to the survey reported that problems with mobility restrict their daily activities and affect their emotional and financial well-being. Some 60% of adults with MS who experience difficulty walking have fallen; for a third of them, a fall resulted in an injury.

RESuLTS IN FOR POTENTIAL MS THERAPIES • In a two-year Phase III trial, the oral MS therapy bG-12 significantly reduced—by up to 51%— the average number of annual MS relapses. More than 1,400 people with relapsingremitting MS participated in the study. BG-12 is thought to inhibit the immune cells and molecules that are involved in MS attacks on the brain and spinal cord. This study should help to define further the safety and promise of BG-12 as a potential therapy for relapsing MS. • The experimental intravenous MS therapy alemtuzumab significantly reduced relapse rates and the worsening of disability in a two-year Phase III study that compared alemtuzumab to Rebif. The study, called CAREMS II, involved 840 people with relapsingremitting MS. The FDA has fast-tracked alemtuzumab, which should speed up future review.

• A study of 324 patients comparing the MS oral therapy teriflunomide with Rebif found no significant difference in the numbers of While 65% of those surveyed reported walking participants in each group who experienced difficulties or trouble with balance, 40% events defined as treatment failure. “rarely or never” discussed the issues with their Teriflunomide is thought to prevent damage doctor. to the nervous system by immune cells. A previous Phase III trial was more successful and “Clearly we need to encourage and empower three others are ongoing. The FDA is reviewing people with MS to discuss walking impairment an application for marketing approval of with their doctor, including newly diagnosed teriflunomide. patients who may be experiencing only mild problems with walking or balance difficulties,” To stay current on MS therapies in the pipeline said Nicholas laRocca, PhD, Vice President for for FDA approval, sign up for MS eNEWS at Health Care Delivery and Policy Research at www.nationalMSsociety.org/signup. the Society. TOLL fREE NUMbER 1 800 344 4867 | 9 TOLL FREE NUMBER 1 800 344 4867 | 9


MS SERVICE DAY

What a Difference a day makes

MS Service Day 2012 On Saturday, March 13, 2012, the Georgia Chapter and the Home Depot Foundation kicked off MS Awareness Week 2012 with the 3rd annual MS Service Day. Over 130 volunteers joined together for a for a full day of cleaning, painting, yard work, building decks, electrical work, gutter cleaning, and more at four client homes in Gwinnett and DeKalb counties‌ With financial support and with 78 volunteers from a number of Gwinnett County Home Depot stores, our commitment to service was able to grow this year. With specialized volunteers from the Home Depot we were able to build a new deck, replace lighting fixtures and garage doors, repair and replace gutters, rake over 175 bags of leaves (at one house), repair a chimney structure and organize a garage with an accumulation of 19+ years of items. The Home Depot Foundation generously provided all the supplies and materials for the day. Each of the client homes that were served were transformed that day, and will continue to be maintained by the Home Depot far beyond just MS Service Day. Because of the hard work from our volunteers and program partners, one client can now remove the cardboard she had taped around her fireplace to keep the air and critters out, because volunteers repaired the entire chimney from the outside in. Another client discovered she had a lovely back patio off the back of her house now that it was no longer covered by the massive amount of leaves. 10

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MS SERVICE DAY

Another client can now walk safely onto his back deck without the worry of his walker, cane or foot falling through the rotted planks.

And another client can now park his car and his power scooter in his garage because the 1 ton of accumulated stuff from the past 19 years has been sorted through, donated, thrown out or replaced in easily identifiable and accessible storage spaces.

Thank you to all the volunteers and sponsors of MS Service Day 2012, for making a difference in the lives of those living with MS, helping us raise awareness and spirits on that beautiful spring day! Our special thanks to the financial supporters of MS Service Day 2012, the Home Depot Foundation, Robert C. O’Leary and EMD Serono. TOLL FREE NUMBER 1 800 344 4867

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MS SERVICE DAY

Personal Reflection about Service Work in the They have a cleaning lady regularly for the MS Community main floor of the house. The upstairs is rarely Submitted by a 2012 MS Leadership Class Member used. However, they had guests the weekend before and the upstairs was in disarray. I wanted you to know about my day of service I washed all the sheets and remade the beds from last Saturday… and vacuumed. Basically, the upstairs is now ready for guests again. My father-in-law is I had willingly signed up for MS Service Day. genuinely pleased about that! Having participated in Habitat for Humanity before, it sounded simple enough. But I felt My mother-in-law had her lunch and went a little guilty that I had never spent a whole to take a nap. My son and I went out to a day helping my own family members with MS, delicious lunch with my father-in-law. Afternamely my in-laws. My mother-in-law has MS. wards, I helped my mother-in-law clean So, I called them up and proposed I come the out her closet and get week before MS Service Day and help them in ready for Spring. She their home. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. can no longer wear Can you really volunteer with such a personal clothes with buttons connection or is it better to serve strangers? On or waists. They need occasion, when I have tried to help out at their to be soft and comhouse, it hasn’t really gone well. My fatherfortable and easy for in-law, the primary caregiver, knows just how my father-in-law to he likes the dishwasher loaded, etc. Usually, I assist with her dressjust visit with my mother-in-law for a couple of ing. We packed away some clothes and she hours so he can run errands and get out of the gave me a few things she can no longer wear. house a bit. But they seemed enthusiastic about my plan. Although my father-in-law did tell me We played a couple of board games. We each I wasn’t “qualified” to do plumbing or anything won one! My husband, son and father-in-law useful like that. went out to the movies. Soon it was 5 P.M. The day had passed quickly. We had fun and Saturday morning I showed up at their house at got a lot done, and I am looking forward to 8:30 A.M.. sharp. First we made a list of posserving next Saturday with a new family on sible chores (too many to possibly do in one MS Service Day 2012. day.) I started by cleaning out the sun room. My mother-in-law has done crafts her whole I would definitely do this again and we don’t life and can no longer do so. We sorted piles to have to wait a whole year to the next MS give away items or store them and threw out awareness week. bags of trash. I dusted and vacuumed and rearranged the furniture. I have to say, the room Thanks to the MS Society for inspiring me to looks great! Warm and inviting. help my family and others. 12

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WALK MS

Walk MS: 2012 Margy, diagnosed in 2006

PRESENTED BY

1st Franklin Financial Corporation Named Presenting Sponsor of Walk MS: Georgia 2012 1st Franklin Financial Corporation has been named presenting sponsor of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society – Georgia Chapter’s Walk MS: Georgia 2012, sponsoring all nine walks around the state of Georgia. 1st Franklin Financial has pledged to assist the Society in its goal to raise money to fight multiple sclerosis and to fund support programs and research that help more than 8,500 individuals impacted by MS throughout Georgia. “1st Franklin Financial and all of our employees are delighted to be able to support Walk MS here in Georgia,” Mike Haynie, Executive Vice President of Human Resources. “We want to focus on community involvement, and we want to be able to make a difference. We felt like making this donation to the Georgia Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society was an excellent way to accomplish those goals. We also wanted to honor one of our own, Branch Manager Lisa Singleton, who suffers from MS, and to support all of our employees and their efforts to find a cure for MS.”

About 1st Franklin Financial Corporation: 1st Franklin Financial Corporation has been engaged in In addition to the presenting sponsor desthe consumer finance business since 1941, particularly ignation, 1st Franklin Financial also has in direct cash loans and real estate loans. As of Septema team for Walk MS: Georgia in Rome on ber 30, 2011 the business was operated through 105 March 24 at Berry College. This year will branch offices in Georgia, 39 in Alabama, 39 in South be the fourth year they have participated Carolina, 32 in Mississippi, 25 in Louisiana and 15 in in this walk. Tennessee.

“It never ceases to amaze me the generosity of individuals and businesses helping charities make quantum change. I am pleased to say that 1st Franklin Financial’s involvement in the Walk MS: Georgia 2012 underscores their corporate culture of social responsibility. The National MS Society is proud to have such a relationship in 1st Franklin Financial,” said Roy A. Rangel, President, National MS Society – Georgia Chapter. TOLL FREE NUMBER 1 800 344 4867

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WAyS TO GIVE

DO IT yOuRSELF FuNDRAISING GETS bOOST

DIy event, MS Cup Race, Minnesota Chapter

A family in Florida who says they like to “eat, drink and throw a good party” hosts a Casino Night on behalf of the National MS Society. A fellow in Minnesota sponsors an annual fourday event for four-wheeling enthusiasts to ride on trails in the middle of the woods. other folks have hosted golf tournaments, sailing races, dinner parties, bake sales, hoops for hope basketball and even a strongman competition, a bike ride in high heels and a tabletop decorating contest. A Wall Street–based poker tournament raised over $850,000, but a $200 bake sale is equally appreciated. Diverse as they are, these events are all Do It yourself (DIy) Fundraising, where people committed to raising awareness and money for the MS movement are limited only by their imagination. DIy fundraising has been going on a long time, but what’s new is an online tool at www.doityourselfms.org, “which gives the same resources as we give to Bike MS and Walk 10 14

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MS participants,” according to Rachael Nuwash, DIy project manager for the Society. These resources include a comprehensive toolkit that covers everything someone who is organizing a DIy event needs to know: establishing a timeline, budgeting, how to make an event memorable, where to hold it, publicity, finding sponsors and volunteers, tips for the day of the event, FAQs and much, much more. People can find out what lessons others have learned and how to create a committee—a core group that will support the effort and whose talents can be utilized. (For example, a friend who’s a graphic designer can design the invitation.) The toolkit also includes flyers, badges and email signature images to download. “The online tools are very intuitive,” said Nuwash, so organizers can easily and quickly reach out to friends, family members and co-workers.

DIy event, Kids for a Cure, New Jersey Metro Chapter

“The people who like to organize Do-It-yourself events are going to do it no matter what,” Nuwash noted. “Their commitment, creativity and intense connection to the Society are like no other. In turn, we’re committed to supporting people who want to do something now.”


PROGRAMS

Join us for‌ Perspectives on the African American Experience with Multiple Sclerosis

WHEN:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

TIME:

6:00pm Registration Opens 6:30pm-8:30pm Program A light meal will be provided

WHERE:

Holiday Inn Capitol Conference Center 450 Capitol Avenue, SE Atlanta, GA

Guest Speaker: Dr. Mitzi Williams, Neurologist MS Center of Atlanta You must preregister for this program by Friday, May 11, 2012. Space is limited!!! To register call 678-672-1000 / 1-800-344-4867 or register online at www.nationalMSsociety.org/gaa This program has been generously supported by Genzyme and Questcor Pharmaceuticals

TOLL FREE NUMBER 1 800 344 4867

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PROGRAMS

SAVE THE DATE!!! Saturday, June 23, 2012 Middle Georgia MS Expo Something for Everyone! Macon Centreplex 200 Coliseum Drive Macon, Georgia 31217 9am-4pm TOPICS: Current MS Therapies; Staying Active with MS; Stress, Anxiety, & Relationships in MS; and more‌ Vendor Exhibits from area businesses will be available from 9am-4pm. A Complimentary lunch will be provided to attendees. To register, call 678-672-1000 / 800-344-4867 or register online www.nationalMSsociety.org/gaa This program has been generously supported by

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PROGRAMS

2012 Teleconference Schedule- Mark Your Calendars All Teleconferences take place from 7:30 –8:30pm EST January 10, 2012

Learning to be a Great Self-Advocate Participants will learn effective practices and communication styles; how to make informed decisions and to understand individual strengths and needs; identify goals and recognize legal rights and responsibilities.

February 14, 2012

Genetics, Genomic Medicine and MS MS Genomic research will help identify the genes that contribute to the onset of MS as well as identify the environmental risk factors involved in the disease process. This information will aid to the growing field of genomic medicine and will help generate early diagnostic and prevention criteria, better treatment and a cure.

March 13, 2012

Mindfulness Meditation Learn how mindfulness meditation has been used to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

April 10, 2012

Women’s Issues and MS Join us as a neurologist and MS specialist discuss the various issues affecting women with MS and how to manage these symptoms.

May 8, 2012

Holistic Medicine and MS Learn how holistic medicine can be used in addition to disease-modifying drugs to better treat MS symptoms.

June 12, 2012

Health Insurance Reform: Implications for People with MS Hear an update on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act from Society Staff actively monitoring the key provisions of importance within the MS community.

July 10, 2012

Multitasking: Living with MS While Parenting Young Children Parenting wasn’t easy before MS. Learn tools on how to balance parenting while managing your MS.

August 14, 2012

Vitamin D and MS Learn the importance of Vitamin D and why it is crucial to have your Vitamin D level checked.

September 11, 2012

Remyelination and MS This teleconference will look at the exciting research being done at the University of Central Florida on remyelination.

The topics you want. The convenience you need. Learn about MS NOW. Register Today by calling 1-800-344-4867 or visiting www.nationalMSsociety.org/gaa TOLL FREE NUMBER 1 800 344 4867

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WALK MS

Walk MS: 2012 Margy, diagnosed in 2006

dollar by dollar, Walk MS is Changing lives.

Every step. Every person. Every second spent and dollar raised. They all add up to an experience unlike any other: Walk MS. This is our time to unite and stand strong. Together we will change lives. REGISTER & Start fundraising today!

For more information on Walk MS, or for fundraising and team recruitment ideas, please contact Laurie Palmer, Walk MS Development Manager at 678672-1000 or laurie.palmer@ nmss.org.

www.walkMSgeorgia.org

Nine Walks��One Destination‌A World Free of MS 03.24.12

03.31.12

04.14.12

Albany Riverfront Park Columbus Golden Park Augusta Lake Olmstead Rome Berry College

Macon GEICO Corporate Campus Savannah Daffin Park Athens Oconee Veterans Park

Atlanta Piedmont Park

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04.21.12 Marietta Marietta Square


BIKE MS

Don’t just ride, Bike MS. BIKE MS PROMO

Bike MS: deloite. atlanta to athens Ride /// may 5 - 6, 2012 /// 2 days

Bike MS: COX ATLANTA RIDE /// SEPTEMBER 15-16, 2012 /// 2 days

www.bikeMSgeorgia.org

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MUCKRUCKUS MS

REGISTRATION OPENING SOON!

5 MILES, MENACING CHALLENGES, MUCKING GLORY. OCTOBER 6, 2012 XYZ LOCATION 20 | JOIN THE MOVEMENT: nationalMSsociety.org

Contact laurie.palmer@nmss.org for more information


SELF HELP GROuPS GEORGIA African Americans with MS Self-Help Group Contact: Jo Ann (404) 932-2662 berean Seventh Day Adventist Church 291 H.E. Holmes Drive, Atlanta GA Meets the 2nd Saturday of every month from 3:00 -5:00PM

West Cobb Self-Help Group Contact: Donnie (770) 943-4194 Powder Springs Library 4181 Atlanta Street Powder Springs, GA Meets the 3rd Tuesday of every month from 6:00 - 8:00PM

Atlanta Women’s Self-Help Group Contact: Kristin (404) 351-0205 ext. 110 MS Center of Atlanta 3200 Downwood Circle, Suite 550 Atlanta, GA Meets the 4th Tuesday of every month from 7:00-8:30PM

Woodstock MS Self-Help Group* Contact: Zaida (770) 485-4226 St. Michael the Archangel Church 490 Arnold Mill Rd Woodstock, GA 30188 Meets 3rd Saturday of every month from 11:00AM - 1:00PM

Decatur Self-Help Group Contact: O.J. (770) 256-2516 Green forest Community baptist Church 23250 Rainbow Road, Decatur, GA Meets the 2nd Saturday of every month from 10:00AM- 12:00PM Snellville Self-Help Group Contact: Vicki (770) 978-1517 Emory Eastside Medical Center 1700 Medical Way SW Snellville, GA Meets the 4th Saturday of every month from 10:00AM - 12:00PM Lawrenceville Women’s Self-Help Group Contact: Karen (678) 975-7167 Lawrenceville Library Highway 29 Lawrenceville, GA Meets the 2nd Saturday of every month from 1:30- 2:30PM

*This group has chosen to include a faithoriented focus. They offer a moment of silence, reflection and/or prayer at the start and/or close of their meetings. If this group is not for you, please call the Georgia Chapter for another recommendation of Self-Help Group within your area. Douglasville Self-Help Group Contact: Stephanie (770) 577-0408 first Presbyterian Church Parlor Room Douglasville, GA Meets the 3rd Thursday of every month from 7:00 - 8:30PM Newton County Self-Help Group Contact: Jean (678) 346-0740 Newton General Hospital Auditorium Covington, GA Meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month from September - May from 7:00 - 8:30PM

TOLL FREE NUMBER 1 800 344 4867

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SELF HELP GROuPS GEORGIA S.H.E.P.S Contact: Kate (404) 402-0368 MS Institute at Shepherd 2020 Peachtree Road, Atlanta GA Meets the 2nd Saturday of every month from 10:00AM - 12:00PM

Albany African American Self-Help Group Contact: Colette (229) 395-4150 Chosen to Conquer, Inc. 1120 W. broad Avenue., Suite C-1 Meets the 2nd Saturday of every month from 12:00 - 2:00PM

Cumming Self-Help Group Contact: Laura (770) 781-5816 Northside forsyth Hospital 1400 Doctor bldg Cumming, GA Meets the 1st Saturday of every month from 10:00 - 11:30AM

Athens MS Family Contact: becky (706) 353-0606 Athens Neurological Associates 1086-A baxter Street Athens, GA Meets the 3rd Thursday of every other month from 6:00 - 7:00PM in the months of (Jan., Mar., May, July, Sept., Nov.)

Wellspouse Self-Help Group Contact: Jan (404) 579-6782 LaMadeleine-Perimeter 1165 Perimeter Center West Atlanta, GA Meets 2nd Thursday of every month from 7:00-8:30PM *This group is for spouses/caregivers whose partner has MS Carroll MS Self-Help Group Contact: Libby (770) 836-3287/ (678)793-1357 Tanner Medical Center, Classroom #3 705 Dixie Street Carrollton, GA Meets 2nd Sunday of every month from 2:00-3:00PM Albany Self-Help Group Contact: Janet (229) 435-2517 Phoebe Putney NW Conference Center 2336 Dawson Road Albany, GA Meets the 1st Monday of every month from 7:00 - 8:30PM 22

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JOIN THE MOVEMENT: nationalMSsociety.org

Augusta MS Self-Help Group Contact: (706) 721-8664 Medical College of GA - MS Center 1120 15th Street Augusta, GA Meets the 4th Monday of every month from 6:00 - 7:30PM bartow County Self-Help Group Contact: Towanda (770) 687-1663 Keller Williams Office 1010 Tennessee Street Cartersville, GA Meets 4th Thursday of every month from 6:30 - 8:30PM Chattahoochee Valley Self-Help Group Contact: Terry (334) 298-8320 Columbus Public Library Downstairs Media Area 3000 Macon Road Columbus, GA Call to confirm meeting location Meets the 2nd Tuesday of every other month from 6:30 - 8:00PM in the months of (Jan., Mar., May, July, Sept., Nov.)


SELF HELP GROuPS GEORGIA Hope Floats Self-Help Group Contact: Marty (478) 742-9011 Pinegate 300 Charter blvd, Macon GA Meets the last Monday of every month from 6:00 - 8:00PM

T.A.M.S. Self-Help Group Contact: Sherry (706)472-3273/ (706)975-9762 American Pie Pizzeria of Thomaston 710 N. Church Street Thomaston, GA Meets the 3rd Thursday of every month from 12:30 – 2:00PM

Looking Good Self-Help Group Contact: Paula (912) 538-0142 Tree House 723 North Saint East, Vidalia, GA Meets 2nd Tuesday of every month from 7:00- 9:00PM

Valdosta MS Self Help Group Contact: barbara (229) 247-7792 Smith Northview Hospital Meets the 3rd Saturday of every month at 10:30am

Middle GA Self-Help Group Contact: Michelle (478) 335-4675 Houston Health Pavillion 233 North Houston Road Warner Robins, GA Meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month from 6:30 - 8:30PM

Thomasville MS Self-Help Group Contact: Mike (229) 346-9746 Thomas County Public Library 201 North Madison Street Thomasville, GA Meets the 3rd Thursday of every month from 6:00 - 7:30PM

Mitchell County MS Self-Help Group Contact: Lucas (229) 224-5979 Mitchell County Hospital Community Room 90E. Stephens Street Camilla, GA Meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month from 6:00 – 7:00PM

***The National MS Society is a secular organization, welcoming those of every faith, and those that espouse none.*** Please contact the Self-Help Group leaders prior to attending a group meeting to assure that the meeting time, date, and location are accurate. Groups occasionally change their meeting schedules to participate in other National MS Society events.

TOLL FREE NUMBER 1 800 344 4867

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NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE PAID City, ST Permit # (No.)

Georgia Chapter 1117 Perimeter Center West, Suite E101 Atlanta, GA 30338

MS ADVOCACY IN ACTION

MS ACTIVISTS TAKE ACTION @ THE CAPITOL People affected by multiple sclerosis rely on the Society’s activism to create resources and solve problems they face in their day-to-day lives with this disease. MS volunteers and activists charged the Capitol during MS Action Day at the Capitol to talk to legislators about improving the quality of life of people living with MS. At the top of the agenda was to discuss the elimination of payor Specialty Tiers, which reduce patient access to disease modifying therapies by substantially increasing drug costs.


Spring 2012 MS Connection