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Moving Toward A World Free of MS Spring 2012

In this issue:

Hiking Adventure

Happy Campers

Wellness Classes

Bubble Bistro

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 MS Society at or 1-800-344-4867 to learn about ways to help manage

The Official Magazine of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Lone Star

The official magazine of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Lone Star Amarillo • Austin • Dallas • Fort Worth • Houston • Lubbock • Midland • San Antonio

1-800-344-4867 Board of Trustees Chairman Brad Robbins Secretary ERNEST JOHNSON Treasurer GERALD MERFISH Regional Executive Vice President Mark Neagli MSConnection Editor James Black © 2012 National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Lone Star

multiple sclerosis and about current research that may one day reveal a cure.



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

Spring 2012 Volume 6 • Issue 2

The Official Magazine of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society: Lone Star

Councilman Reed Williams read a mayoral proclamation declaring March 12-18 as MS Awareness Week in the City of San Antonio. On hand at the National MS Society’s San Antonio office were Society staff members Carrie Dahlquist, Rebecca Gray, Cynthia Perkins-Rodriguez, Evelyn Harrison, Councilman Williams, Lloyd Hensley, Tony Ralf and Tess Robertson.

Kudos to Katy Walk MS Co-Chairs Valerie Newman and Vanessa Bedoya. They were honored during “Celebrating Women,” a month-long national initiative by Katy Mills Mall to honor and empower women everywhere. This dynamic duo helped raise more than $25,000 for Katy Walk MS; they were instrumental in getting the local community involved and creating awareness about multiple sclerosis. Valerie and Vanessa were nominated by the National MS Society as volunteer leaders who exemplify giving back to the community. Including the Katy event, the five 2011 Greater Houston-area walks raised more than $380,000 to support MS research and services.

Pictured on the cover, Lisa Sailor; photo by Susan Lathrop

Rivera Honored for Excellence in Health Care The National MS Society honored Dr. Victor Rivera for more than 40 years of excellence in the care of persons living with multiple sclerosis. In Fall 2011, Dr. Rivera retired from his position as Director of the Maxine Mesinger Center for Comprehensive MS Care at the Baylor College of Medicine. However, he remains actively engaged in the ongoing MS mission by serving on the Society’s South

Central Clinical Advisory Committee and continuing to travel extensively throughout North and South America to speak with leaders in MS care. Pictured are National MS Society President and CEO Cynthia Zagieboylo, Cristina Rivera, Dr. Victor Rivera and Mark Neagli, the Society’s South Central Executive Regional Vice President. Moving Toward A World Free of MS


It’s Cool to Band Together by Tony Ralf What would you do if you learned 50,000 cooling devices were available for free? You’d grab them for sure at the National MS Society. So begins a long, multimonth trek for these cooling aids from their home in Amarillo, Texas to a distribution point where they could be sent across the South Central Region to benefit our members. But you don’t move 50,000 of anything without friends banding together to tap their respective networks so the Society doesn’t end up with a huge freight or storage bill. The company that owned the product, Cool Bands, went out of business and the landlord of the warehouse where the items were stored needed to move the product so he could rent the space again. Cool Bands are a personal cooling device designed to be worn on the forearm and allow the wearer a little extra time outside on warm days. So the tapping of friends began. We reached out to a longtime supporter, grocery store H-E-B, and asked if they would donate two empty semitrailers to leave San Antonio and head to Amarillo to retrieve the 53 pallets of Cool Bands. H-E-B, without hesitation, said “Yes!” The product was loaded and was headed back to the Alamo City, but we needed a home to secure the items without incurring any cost. We knocked on the door of another good friend to the Society in San Antonio, the


MSConnection • SPRING 2012

Broussard Group, an office service and systems provider. “Do you have warehouse room you can donate to store 50,000 Cool Bands?” After explaining what the Cool Band was, we received a resounding “Yes” to our request from the company owner. Now, how do you equitably divide and inexpensively ship 50,000 Cool Bands so that every South Central office can redistribute to our regional members? You go to a global network of companies, who double as caring citizens in the communities where we live and work. You go to FedEx. FedEx is a longtime sponsor, fundraiser in many Society events around the country, and so knows our territory better than most. A joyous gasp went up when FedEx accepted our request to ship all the Cool Bands across the region -- Midland to New Orleans, New Mexico to Little Rock -- at no cost. Many lessons were learned here, including our corporate partners might not only want to be associated with their traditional roles, they might have the “bandwidth” to help move a mountain. There’s an amazing knowledge base in the South Central Region; we just needed to ask the question: “Can you help?”

Tony Ralf is Regional Vice President, Development in the Society’s San Antonio office. He can be reached at tony.

Moving Toward A World Free of MS


Texan Embarks on Six-Month, 2,000-Mile Hiking Adventure by April Brownlee 6

MSConnection • SPRING 2012


im Cook is doing something big. 2,180 miles big. Fourteen states big. Five-and-a-half months big. “Big issues require big actions. I wanted to do something that was challenging. Not that my challenge is anything like the challenges people living with MS day-to-day have to deal with,” said Tim. On March 7, Tim left his home in the Texas Panhandle town of Canyon and embarked on his big adventure. He calls it “Hike MS-AT2102.” Tim will spend nearly six months hiking the more than 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail, one of the longest continuously-marked footpaths in the world. He began in Georgia and hopes to finish in Maine by midto late September. “The trail is used in sections or parts by lots and lots of people. But in terms of the through-hike, about 2,000 to 3,000 people attempt it each year and about 10 percent of that actually finishes,” Tim said. To be sure his big idea was really, really big, Tim decided to raise the stakes. With the aid of the National MS Society’s new Do It Yourself (DIY) fundraising tool, Tim hopes to bring in $7,500 for the cause, calling it “75 for 75.” “I wanted to have a goal that was equal to the challenge of the walk itself, which is where I came up with the $7,500, for the 75th anniversary of the Trail this year,” he said. Tim knew a trek of this magnitude would require time, careful planning and lots of training. First, though, he had to convince his wife, Cathy. “I’ve had the Appalachian Trail in the back of my mind since I was much, much younger. I started putting it all together and deciding maybe this would be a suitable, big challenge,” said Tim. His plans began to really take shape when Cathy, who is living with multiple sclerosis, didn’t shoot down his big idea. “I know I’m not the only reason he’s doing it, but it’s huge,” said Cathy. “It’s not a five-and-a-half month vacation. It’s a sacrifice for him. I’m sure it’s a wonderful adventure, but who chooses to sleep on the ground for that long, eat ramen noodles for that long

and walk for eight hours a day? Maybe for a week or two, but half a year? His passion really touches me.” Tim will average about 15 miles a day, taking it a little bit easier in the beginning to get his “trail legs.” To keep his load light, he won’t even pack an MP3 player. He’ll suit up with about 21 pounds of gear, plus food. When he crosses civilization about every seven days on his trek, Cathy, who works for Southwest Airlines, will fly out to meet him. The couple, who met while both were living in Boerne and had their first date at Luckenbach, is prepared to miss each other. Cathy will have their dogs, fittingly named Willie and Waylon, to keep her company, while Tim will have the faces and stories of those living with MS whose paths he has crossed since Cathy’s diagnosis. “Part of what will keep me going is I’ve got many, many names I’m taking with me, many people to think about and pray about who inspire me. When I don’t want to go on, I’ve got these people in my pocket who choose to go on every day. They’re my motivation and Cathy is my inspiration, certainly,” he said. To those who think such a big undertaking is too big, Tim recommended focusing on doing what you can. “It doesn’t have to be monumental. It doesn’t have to be walking 2,200 miles. It doesn’t have to be anything more than your own talents, your own gifts and your own willingness to do something to help raise awareness and critical funds,” he said. Cathy will update Tim’s DIY Fundraising page and social media pages throughout his hike to keep followers up-to-date and the contributions coming in. You can follow or donate to Tim Cook’s big adventure at

April Brownlee is a Development Manager in the Society’s Amarillo office. She can be reached at april. Start your own Do-It-Yourself adventure by visiting the National MS Society’s DIY website at

Moving Toward A World Free of MS


Families are Happy Campers on This Spring Break by Elaine Lisero


MSConnection • SPRING 2012


any of us are aware that although multiple sclerosis occurs most commonly in adults, it is also diagnosed in children and adolescents. Estimates suggest that 8,000 to 10,000 children – defined as those up to 18 years old – in the United States have multiple sclerosis. In mid-March, 55 campers that encompassed 11 families who have a child or adolescent living with MS came from all parts of Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana to spend their spring break at Champ Camp for the weekend. Champ Camp – held at Camp for All in Burton, Texas – provides the opportunity for families to connect with others in similar circumstances to build their support network, and connect with quality information and resources, all in a fun, accessible and recreational environment. The spring break Hawaiianthemed weekend included all the fun-filled activities expected at camp, such as fishing, horseback riding, high-ropes zip-lining, and arts and crafts that both children and adults enjoyed. The following are some additional highlights to this special weekend: • An excellent MS Research and Treatment Update was provided to the parents thanks to the support of Dr. Donna Graves, deputy director of the Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Clinic at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, and her team, researchers Samuel Hughes, Paula Hardeman and psychologist Lana Harder. • Great job to Society staffers Erica Sutton and Erin Fogarty for coordinating group discussions focused on children and teens with MS, siblings and their parents. • In support of MS Awareness Week, the Society’s Regional Vice President Tony Ralf secured a live radio promotion spot on AM 630 KSLR “Girl Talk,” hosted from camp. Dr. Graves, camper Michelle Reid, Programs and Services Director Nan Rose and Tony did a wonderful job in building awareness on pediatric MS, the impact it has on the family, the benefits of camp and the National MS Society. • Through the creative efforts of Tony (a.k.a., the Idea Man) and Nan (a.k.a., the Implementation Queen), “Design a Jersey” was a new activity this year that provided children and teens with the opportunity

to get creative and draw jersey designs for Bike MS events. The designs created from this effort will be judged online by committee volunteers and regional staff. One design will be selected and incorporated in some of the upcoming Bike MS events. • Giving back as children and teen mentors, volunteers Bekah Boone, Spencer Najera and Kyleigh Hinson all have something in common. As children impacted by MS, they benefited from attending camp with their families for many years. Now, as young adults, they are giving back as volunteers and mentors to the children and teens attending Champ Camp and were a true inspiration. • The Hawaiian ice cream social was a big hit due to the volunteer decoration efforts led by Leslie Mueller. Leslie, who was on staff, continues to show her dedication and support to our efforts now as a volunteer as she pursues a career in nursing. • Volunteers Peggy Muller, Jack Engle and Merry Ribnikar provided their creative talents, tools and material resources to make arts and crafts special for all who came in to do projects. • Through the efforts of the Society’s South Texas Development Team, Sarah Gonzales and Lloyd Hensley, top fundraisers from San Antonio were provided the opportunity to visit Champ Camp on Saturday to connect with those who are impacted by the disease and see first-hand how their efforts make a difference. A huge thank you goes to all the volunteers and staff that made this weekend possible and so special for those we serve. A special acknowledgment also goes to Nan Rose for all her hard work and success in leading this effort.

Elaine Liserio, MSCIR, MSSMC, is the Vice President of Programs and Services with the National MS Society’s South Central Region. She is based in the Society’s San Antonio office. Elaine can be reached at elaine.

Moving Toward A World Free of MS



Water aerobics classes are designed with special attention to stretching, toning and strengthening, including balance exercises, either on land or in water. Classes are performed in waist-deep water, utilizing slow, deep breathing and a wide range of movements to give a feeling of control, balance and coordination. Aquatics classes can help decrease spasticity, increase range of motion and improve gait. If not independent on land, you must provide a support person to assist you into the pool. ABILENE Abilene YMCA 3250 State St. Abilene, TX 79603

Mon/Wed 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Thursday 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.


ABILENE Hendrick Center for Rehabilitation 1934 Hickory St. Abilene, TX 79601

Mon/Wed/Fri 7 a.m.-noon, 1-5 p.m. Thursday 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.


ARLINGTON Arlington YMCA 7120 S. Cooper St. Arlington, TX 76001

Tues/Thurs 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Note: These are open swim times only, not an aquatics exercise class.

DALLAS - Aquatics for People with MS Pearce High School Natatorium Mon/Wed/Fri 1600 N. Coit Road 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Richardson, TX 75080


MSConnection • SPRING 2012

817-419-9629 To reserve a spot in class, call Erin Fogarty at 800-686-7415. Contact The Richardson Senior Center at 972-744-7800.

Get Moving with

Wellness Classes Near You

Wellness is a dynamic state of physical, emotional, spiritual and social well-being that can be achieved even in the presence of a chronic illness or disability. Studies show that moderate aerobic exercise improves cardiac health, stamina and mood, and helps manage symptoms like fatigue, weakness, and bladder and bowel difficulties. Stretching exercises – whether done on your own or with a helper – can relieve stiffness and improve your flexibility and mobility.

The National MS Society provides programs to promote wellness of mind, body and spirit. Classes are free unless otherwise noted. Always talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program.

Note: The following information is current as this issue went to print. To ensure class details have not changed, use the contacts listed below or call the Society at 1-800-344-4867.

DALLAS - Multiple Sclerosis Aquatic Exercise Program Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Mon/Wed/Fri Dallas Finley Ewing Cardiovascular 11 - 11:45 a.m. and Fitness Center 5721 Phoenix Drive Dallas, TX 75231

To reserve a spot, call Marianna Clement at 214-345-4512.

KELLER Keller ISD Natatorium 1000 Bear Creek Parkway Keller, TX 76248

Mon/Wed/Fri 11 a.m. - noon

817-744-1350 To reserve your spot, call Erin Fogarty at 800-686-7415.

MIDLAND COM Aquatics 3003 North A St. Midland, TX 79705

Tues/Thurs 12:15-1 p.m.

Cost is $10 per month. Contact Gail at 806-468-8005 x22.

NEW BRAUNFELS - Wet ‘n’ Well YMCA 710 Landa St. New Braunfels, TX 78130

Wednesday 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Contact Rana Russell at 830-643-0376.

WACO Waco Family YMCA 6800 Harvey St. Waco, TX 76710

Tues/Thurs 9-10 a.m.

Contact Chris Bernard at chris.bernard@ymcaofcentraltexas. org or call 254-776-6612 to RSVP.

WICHITA FALLS North Texas Rehab Center 1005 Midwestern Parkway Wichita Falls, TX 76302

Tues/Thurs 2 - 3 p.m.


Moving Toward A World Free of MS


Wellness Classes Art Therapy

Discover the healing power of art in these award-winning outreach programs. Students explore various techniques in different media. These soothing classes are open to all persons with MS. Partial funding for this program is provided by the National MS Society and the Art Colony Association. HOUSTON - Healing Art Art League Houston 1953 Montrose Blvd. Houston, TX 77006

Wednesday 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

HOUSTON - Physically Challenged Healing Art Art League Houston Wednesday 1 - 4 p.m. 1953 Montrose Blvd. Houston, TX 77006




HOUSTON TIRR Memorial Hermann Strength Unlimited at Kirby Glenn 2455 South Braeswood Houston, TX 77090

1st Monday 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Room is located down first hallway, on your right.

Lissa Cameron-Giacco at 713-394-2928

Physical Training

Each physical training session includes stretching exercises, lightweight resistance training and breathing techniques under the direction of a certified personal trainer.

FORT WORTH - Assisted Physical Training National MS Society Tue/Thurs 4086 Sandshell Drive Appointment Required Fort Worth, TX 76137 DALLAS - Assisted Physical Training National MS Society 2105 Luna Road, Suite 390 Carrollton, TX 75006


MSConnection • SPRING 2012

Tuesday Appointment Required

Private evaluation necessary for registration. Schedule an appointment by calling Erin Fogarty at 800-686-7415. Private evaluation necessary for registration. Call Erica Sutton at 800-686-7415.

Wellness Classes Pilates

Pilates is a gentle, yet effective, form of exercise for all fitness levels and abilities. Exercises are nonimpact and non-weight bearing, and strengthen core muscles, improving overall body stability.

ROUND ROCK - Fitness Pilates MS Clinic of Central Texas 16040 Park Valley Drive, B-100 Round Rock, TX 78681

Tue/Thurs 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

DALLAS - Fitness Pilates for Multiple Sclerosis Movie Studio Saturday Preston Campbell Center 1 - 2 p.m. 17062 Preston Road, Ste. 108 Dallas, TX 75248

Call Mary Holder at 512-569-5955. (Clinic phone is 512-248-8663.)

Contact Maureen Tarantino at or 214-924-0914.


This class is a combination of Pilates and yoga for exercisers with mobility limitations. It is also suitable for those who prefer sitting or using a wheelchair.

DALLAS - Seated Pi-Yo Movie Studio Preston Campbell Center 17062 Preston Road, Ste. 108 Dallas, TX 75248

Tuesday 1 - 2 p.m.

Contact Maureen Tarantino at or 214-924-0914.


Sit ‘n’ Fit is a seated, creative movement program that focuses on light aerobics. Exercises are done from a seated position, either in a chair or wheelchair. Focus is placed on individual abilities, allowing participants to work at their own levels, abilities and pace. CARROLLTON - Seated Aerobics Sandunga Dance Studio 2155 Marsh Lane Carrollton, TX 75006

First Thursday 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Call Erica Sutton at 1-800-686-7415.

Moving Toward A World Free of MS


Wellness Classes Silver Sneakers

Silver Sneakers uses a variety of exercises designed to increase muscular strength, range of motion and activity for daily living skills. This class is appropriate for individuals who may use a wheelchair fulltime. TEXARKANA - Silver Sneakers I St. Michael Health & Fitness Center 2223 Galleria Oaks Drive Texarkana, TX 75503

Tue/Thurs 2 - 2:45 p.m.

Call the Health & Fitness Center at 903-614-4441 to reserve your spot or Erica Sutton at 800-344-4867 x4708.

TEXARKANA - Silver Sneakers II St. Michael Health & Fitness Center 2223 Galleria Oaks Drive Texarkana, TX 75503

Mon/Wed 2 - 2:45 p.m.

Call the Health & Fitness Center at 903-614-4441 to reserve your spot or Erica Sutton at 800-344-4867 x4708.

Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Therapeutic horseback riding has been shown to enhance overall functional activity for people with disabilities. This program is beneficial for people with MS who have limited mobility, those working to improve balance and muscle coordination, and persons who have enough trunk control to support oneself sitting independently, but who would like to increase core muscle strength. CLEBURNE - Dallas/Fort Worth Area Wings of Hope Equitherapy 4200 CR 806 Cleburne, TX 76031 CORINTH - Dallas/Fort Worth Area Spirit Horse Theraputic Center 1960 Post Oak Drive Corinth, TX 76210

Thursday 12:15 – 1 p.m. or 1 – 1:45 p.m.

To reserve your spot, contact Julie Rivard at Wings of Hope at 817-790-8810.

Friday 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Contact Spirit Horse Therapeutic Center at 940-497-2946.


Proven effective for persons with MS, yoga can improve balance, range of motion, flexibility and more. For yoga classes, each participant must bring a yoga mat, towel or blanket.


AUSTIN - Chair Yoga Class Dittmar Recreation Center 1009 W. Dittmar Road Austin, TX 78745

Mon/Wed 1 - 2 p.m.


AUSTIN St. David’s at Hancock Center 1000 E. 41st St., Bldg O Suite 925 - Therapy Gym Austin, TX 78751

Friday Noon - 1 p.m.

To reserve your spot, contact Rikki Dunn at 512-261-0125 or rikidunn@ Cost: $25 per month.

MSConnection • SPRING 2012

Wellness Classes BEAUMONT - Adapted Yoga Wesley United Methodist Church 3515 Helena Ave. Nederland, TX 77627

Every Tues 10 – 11 a.m. 3rd Sat 10 – 11 a.m. Free childcare available for Sat class.

Call Lissa Giacco at 713-394-2928.

BROWNSVILLE South Texas Rehabilitation Hospital 425 East Alton Gloor Blvd. Brownsville, TX 78256

Tuesday 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Call Lupita Fulghum at 956-5546000.

CORPUS CHRISTI YWCA of Corpus Christi 4601 Corona, Ste. 2303 Corpus Christi, TX 78411

Thursday 2 p.m.

Call Mary Carpenter at 361-813-1763.

EULESS Neurofitness Foundation 1361 W. Euless Blvd. #101 Euless, TX 76040

Thursday Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Call Erin Fogarty at 817-349-7237.

GARLAND Yoga Synergy Spa 125 Cedar Sage Dr. Garland, TX 75040

Thursday 11 a.m.

Call Amber Kocian at 972-904-2222. Pre-registration is required at

HOUSTON - Adaptive Yoga for MS National MS Society 8111 N. Stadium Drive, Ste. 100 Houston, TX 77054

Thursday 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Call Lissa Giacco at 713-394-2928.

HOUSTON - Adaptive Yoga for MS TIRR Memorial Hermann Strength Unlimited at Kirby Glenn 2455 South Braeswood Houston, TX 77030

3rd Monday 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Call Lissa Giacco at 713-394-2928.

HOUSTON - Seated Yoga National MS Society 8111 N. Stadium Drive, Ste. 100 Houston, TX 77054

3rd Tuesday 10 - 11 a.m.

Call Lissa Giacco at 713-394-2928.

McALLEN - Yoga First United Methodist Church Keystone Room 4200 North McColl McAllen, TX 78504

Tuesday 6 – 7 p.m.

Call Annette De Leon at 956-534-1191.

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS NRH Recreation Center 6720 NE Loop 820 North Richland Hills, TX 76180

Friday 10:40 – 11:40 a.m.


PEARLAND - Adaptive Yoga for MS Westside Events Center 2150 Country Place Pkwy. Pearland, TX 77581

Saturday 10 a.m. - noon

Call Lissa Giacco at 713-394-2928. Moving Toward A World Free of MS


Wellness Classes ROUND ROCK - Yoga for Individuals with MS or Mobility Challenges Grace Lutheran Church Friday 708 Bluff Drive 10 a.m. Round Rock, TX 78681

Call Rocio Morales at 512-255-8109. Cost is $40 per month.

ROUND ROCK - Gentle Yoga MS Clinic of Central Texas 16040 Park Valley Drive, B-100 Round Rock, TX 78681

Call Mary Holder at 512-569-5955.

Wednesday 10:45 a.m.

SAN ANTONIO / LIVE OAK - MS Yoga Journey Northeast Methodist Hospital CHC Room Monday 12412 Judson Road 7 p.m. San Antonio, TX 78233

Contact Jan Mayulianos at 210-6598803. New students must call ahead to verify class dates and location.

SAN ANTONIO - Adaptive Yoga for MS MS Center of South Texas - NISA Monday 3603 Paesanos Pkwy., Ste. 300 6 p.m. San Antonio, TX 78231

To reserve your spot in the class, contact Janet Kaufman at 210-6921245.

SAN ANTONIO - Gentle Yoga St. Mark’s United Methodist Church Office Entrance 1902 Vance Jackson San Antonio, TX 78213

Wednesday 1:30 - 3 p.m.

Call Cheryl Alexander at 210-883-8234.

Tue/Thurs Noon – 1 p.m. Saturday 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

Call Erin Fogarty at 800-686-7415. Arrive 15 minutes early for your first class.

3rd Wednesday 6 - 7 p.m. Park and enter at rear of building.

Contact Janie Portele at 254-9688917.

Tuesday 9:30-10:25 a.m. Thursday 9:30-10:25 a.m.

RSVP: Contact the Health & Fitness Center at 903-614-4441 to reserve your spot.

Mon 8:45-9:40 a.m. Tues 5:30-6:25 p.m. Wed 8:30-9:25 a.m. Thurs 5:30-6:25 p.m.

RSVP: Contact the Health & Fitness Center at 903-614-4441 to reserve your spot.

Monday 1 - 2 p.m.

Call Lissa Giacco at 713-394-2928.

SOUTHLAKE - Divine Yoga Divine Center of Yoga 3280 W. Southlake Blvd. Southlake, TX 76092 STEPHENVILLE - Adaptive Yoga for MS City Library 174 N. Columbia Stephenville, TX 76401 TEXARKANA - Beginners Yoga CHRISTUS St. Michael Health & Fitness Center 2223 Galleria Oaks Drive Texarkana, TX 75503 TEXARKANA - Hatha Yoga CHRISTUS St. Michael Health & Fitness Center 2223 Galleria Oaks Drive Texarkana, TX 75503 THE WOODLANDS YMCA - South Montgomery County 6145 Shadowbend Place The Woodlands, Texas, 77381


MSConnection • SPRING 2012

Partners Help Bubble Bistro Idea Get Off the Ground by Calvin Pollard II


ith just a mile to go to the end of the Bike MS, a rider’s lungs and legs are heavy, perspiration is plentiful and the anticipation of crossing the finish line is in sight amongst a cheering crowd. It is at that exciting moment that fundraising cyclists notice bubbles filling the air, courtesy of the popular Bubble Bistro. The concept of the Bubble Bistro began five years ago when the heat of the day aggravated Bistro founder Nancy Gerner’s MS. She, along with two of her friends, Margaret Pichon and Anne Roland, put their heads together to create a plan to provide a way for people living with multiple sclerosis to enjoy the finish line of the Bike MS event. With a great idea comes the search to find a partner that can help underwrite the costs of the items to make it a reality. The trio knocked on the doors of their close friends and found the generosity of John Meador’s bike team, Kickin’ Asphalt. A tent, tables, chairs and bubble machines provided the perfect atmosphere, shaded viewing area and respite for those with MS and their friends and family to celebrate cyclists finishing their two-day Texas trek. Since the involvement of the Kickin’ Asphalt team, other corporate sponsors and bike teams have joined the movement to support the Bubble Bistro. Gulfshore Pipe and Supply provided funds that fully established the Bistro as a permanent feature of the Houston-to-Austin BP MS 150 in April. Their sponsor involvement stems from support of their daughter who also participates in the ride on their bike team, Team Amy. The concept of the Bubble Bistro has also made its way to other Bike MS rides within Texas, providing similar services so others with MS may enjoy the shaded fun of the bike events.

Steve and Amber Mostyn of Mostyn Law Firm and their cycling team are the newest to join as a corporate partner, lending their support to take the Bistro to the next step in 2012. In total, the three contributing groups have a combined generosity of corporate donations and team fundraising of more than $500,000. Though the focus of the events of the National MS Society is to raise vital funds for programs and research, events such as Bike MS also serve as a center-point to bring great people together. Beyond covering the cost of logistics needed to provide the Bubble Bistro, more than 80 percent of those donations contribute directly toward the mission of supporting programs and research. One idea began the journey to create an avenue to bring people together to enjoy the excitement of the bike ride and an additional method to raise money for the National MS Society. These contributions and the support of these partners will go a long way toward our ultimate finish line: an end to MS.

Look for the Bubble Bistro this spring at the BP MS 150 finish line in Austin on April 22 and the Bike MS: Sam’s Club finish line in North Texas on May 6. You can find more information on the Bubble Bistro and these events at Calvin Pollard II is a Corporate Development Manager in the Society’s Houston office. He works with corporate sponsors across the five-state South Central region to help fund and support the Society’s ongoing mission. Calvin can be reached at

Moving Toward A World Free of MS



Research Round-Up 75% of Family Caregivers: Respite Care Provides Much-Needed Help in Caring for Loved Ones with MS One of the biggest challenges of living with multiple sclerosis is coping with the constantly changing state of the disease. It’s not unusual to encounter periods of severe symptoms followed by remissions. As a result, the physical, mental and financial burdens on family caregivers of people with MS are significantly greater than the general family caregiving population. This is the reality reported in Multiple Sclerosis Caregivers 2012, a survey conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving with support from the National MS Society. Among the findings: Half of MS patients experience “mental confusion” that negatively impacts caregivers in regards to their own mental health (43%) and overall financial situation (47%). In addition, 86% of family caregivers of people with MS indicated needing assistance in funding to pay for in-home care to help keep their loved ones home and out of a long-term care facility. Half of MS caregivers see the day when long-term care facilities are required; the top triggering event in the need for a long-term care facility is the need for 24-hour care. The survey also revealed that most caregivers of people with MS use the Internet to search for information about the disease and how to care for someone (94%). Of those who use a given source for information, less than half found the information helpful. The type of care provided by family caregivers of people with MS is assisting with a wide variety


MSConnection • SPRING 2012

of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) personal care – including bathing, dressing, feeding and toileting – and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) – such as housekeeping, transporting to the doctor, cooking and handling finances. The most commonly felt emotion upon their care recipient’s diagnosis was compassion, followed closely by fear and anxiety. Half of caregivers stated that their personal relationship with their loved one has improved; three out of four caregivers indicated that becoming a caregiver to a loved one has made them closer. The long life cycle of the disease suggests the total number of years one serves as a caregiver will be significantly longer than caregivers in general. Already, MS caregivers have been providing care for nine years compared to less than five years for all other caregivers. The average age of all care recipients is 61, but the average age of MS care recipients is 50 and was diagnosed more than 12 years ago. The mean duration of MS is 30 years and it typically reduces life spans by five to 10 years. Researchers Study Connection between Neurologic Episodes and Pregnancies Women’s risk for developing clinically isolated syndrome, which often leads to multiple sclerosis, was shown to decrease with increased number of pregnancies in a comprehensive study undertaken in Australia. Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) is a first neurologic episode caused by inflammation or damage

to nerve fiber-insulating myelin in the brain or spinal cord. The findings encourage further exploration of potential treatments such as sex hormones, which may mimic pregnancy’s benefits in women with MS. The sex hormone estriol is currently in clinical trials, supported by the National MS Society and the National Institutes of Health, to treat women MS.

to fund the preclinical advancement of C-21191, a substance that has been modulated to help improve an experimental therapy with the potential for treating spasticity and pain. These are two common and often debilitating symptoms experienced by people with MS. Fast Forward is committing up to $750,000 to help advance development of C-21191 toward clinical trials in people with MS.

Small Trial of Patients’ Own Adult Stem Cells Shows Hints of Benefits

Rehab Technique Improves Memory and Increases Brain Activity

Results of a clinical trial involving 10 people with secondary-progressive MS suggest that injecting a person’s own bone marrow stem cells appears safe and may be beneficial in helping to protect the nervous system from injury from MS. Further trials now underway should further establish the safety and potential benefit of this approach for treating MS.

In a small study, learning and memory improved in people with MS with a technique that uses stories and imagery to cement learning. For the first time, this improvement was shown to be accompanied by biological changes in the brain indicating increased activation of areas related to memory and learning. Participants were trained using the modified Story Memory Technique, which helps people learn new information and remember older information using imagery and context. The technique is applied to reallife situations, such as remembering a shopping list or a list of errands. A control group met as well, working on the same tasks, but by reading and answering questions. Results show that the treatment group improved by more than 10% over the control group in the ability to recall information. For the first time, researchers were able to show that brain scans revealed increased activation in all participants in the treatment group in areas of the brain related to learning and memory.

Study Suggests Need for More Understanding of MS for Hispanics Findings from a study of Hispanics/Latinos with MS call attention to the need to better understand unique characteristics of MS in this population and the need for more accessible and culturally relevant mental health and social services. Researchers found that a sample of Hispanics/ Latinos with MS reported more pain, fatigue, cognitive problems, mental health problems, and dissatisfaction with their access to mental health care than the general MS population, when approximate comparisons were made reviewing data from the Sonya Slifka Longitudinal MS Study. Collaboration Fast Forwards Potential Therapy for Spasticity and Pain

Join the ongoing conversation at blog. to connect with people with MS and MS experts. For more information on these and other MS research news items, visit the Society online at and click the Research tab.

Fast Forward, LLC, the National MS Society’s subsidiary devoted to bridging the gap between research and drug development, and Concert Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced a collaboration

Moving Toward A World Free of MS


National Multiple Sclerosis Society Lone Star Chapter 8111 North Stadium Drive, Suite 100 Houston, Texas 77054

BP America – the title sponsor of the National MS Society’s largest fundraising event in North America, the Houston-to-Austin BP MS 150 bicycle ride — recently welcomed the Society’s President and CEO Cynthia Zagieboylo. The 2012 BP MS 150 has a fundraising goal of $17 million to fuel research and services for 400,000 Americans living with multiple sclerosis. Pictured are Debbie Pope, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Development with the National MS Society: South Central; Cynthia Zagieboylo; Bill Gerwing, General Manager of External Affairs with BP America; Sally Kolenda, Director of Community Affairs with BP; and Mark Neagli, Regional Executive Vice President with the National MS Society: South Central.

Spring 2012 MSConnection: Lone Star  

Spring edition of MSConnection magazine for Texas

Spring 2012 MSConnection: Lone Star  

Spring edition of MSConnection magazine for Texas