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Fourth Quarter • 2011

Free Teleconferences Offer Symptom Management and Research Updates Imagine having an MS expert visit your home once a month to update you on topics such as genetics, holistic medicine, vitamin D and social security disability. That’s essentially what happens when you participate in our free teleconference series the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 pm. Not only do you find out the latest information on each topic, you also have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the topics over the phone….all while sitting in your favorite easy chair. Doris Johnson, 63, tries to attend as many teleconferences as she can every year. “It’s so much helpful information,” said the Gastonia, NC, resident. “Every month I find out something I can use to help me get along a little better.”

• Health Insurance Reform - Hear an update on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act from Society staff actively monitoring provisions of importance to the MS community. Wanda Holley, 37, was diagnosed with MS at age 21. “All the topics are good, I really don’t have a favorite,” said the Lancaster, SC, native. “Everything’s good on those calls!” For more information or to register, call 1-800-344-4867 or visit:


Volunteers Win National Award


Enjoying the Holiday Season


Bike MS Success


Experience Walk MS Rally Events!

Teleconference Schedule

New topics this season include: • Genomic Medicine - Genomic research will identify the genes that contribute to the onset of MS.


All teleconferences start at 7:30 pm EST December 13

Social Security Disability and MS

January 10

Learning to be a Great Self-Advocate

February 14

Genetics, Genomic Medicine and MS

March 13

Mindfulness Meditation

April 10

Women’s Issues and MS

May 8

Holistic Medicine and MS

June 12

Health Insurance Reform: Implications for People with MS

July 10

Multitasking: Living with MS While Parenting Young Children

August 14

Vitamin D and MS

September 11

Remyelination and MS

Publication of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Mid-Atlantic Chapter 9801-I Southern Pine Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28273 2700 Middleburg Dr. • Suite 220 • Office D Columbia, SC 29204 Board of Trustees Chairman of the Board. . . . . Allison Mertens Jim Cantalupo Kim Counts Mike Daisley Cutter Davis Travis Hubbard Mary Hughes, MD Jackie Jones Brevin Knight Jeff Lax

Craig Lynch E.J. Rabell Dick Robberts Nikhil Sawant Dan Warren

Chapter Volunteers Win National Award, Raise MS Awareness in NYC Laura and E.J. Rabell co-chaired the 2011 Great Gatsby Gala, continue to lead the MS Movers & Shakers young professionals group, and hold full-time jobs at Defender Capital, a wealth management firm in Charlotte, NC. The couple was honored in September with the Volunteer Team Award from the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation. The award recognizes financial advisors for their exemplary leadership and commitment to making a difference in their communities.

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 research, 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. © 2011 National Multiple Sclerosis Society 2| JOIN THE MOVEMENT:

As award winners, the Rabells traveled to New York City and opened the NASDAQ floor on Thursday, September 15, raised MS awareness in Times Square by displaying the National MS Society logo together with the NASDAQ logo (photo, above) and were awarded $5,000 for the National MS Society’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter. We thank them for their dedication to a world free of MS! Would you like to become a volunteer? Contact Tabithia at 1-800-344-4867 or

ENJOYING THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH MS What makes the holidays joyous—food, gifts, get-togethers—can also be sources of stress. “But,” said Roberta Winter, MSW, LCSW, MSCS, “stress should not be so intense you can’t function. That level of stress can lead to depression.” Symptoms of depression include crying jags, feeling worthless or guilty and sleeping or eating too much or too little. A health-care professional could help you sort out the source of your stress, and whether counseling or medication might be helpful. If you suspect depression, call 1-800-344-4867 for referrals to mental health professionals in the area.

Getting support The holidays are about getting together—but your friends and family may have changed after your diagnosis. Not all family members may know about the disease. And you may want it that way. Some “friends” may not be there. Winter believes that a support group during the holidays can be a life-changer. MSFriends is a 24/7 telephone support program that will connect you to a volunteer who has MS and has been trained in how to listen to you. Call 1-866-MSFriends (1-866-673-7436). Yes, all conversations are completely confidential.

are to be enjoyed—and enjoy what you can do,” Winter said. She suggests selecting one tradition that is most important to you and letting the rest go. “Plan just one major entertaining event—if that,” Winter said. “Then give yourself a lot of time to prepare. Prioritize. Ask people to bring things. Get takeout. Accept all offers of help.” Shopping online saves tiring trips – and gift wrapping. Gift cards are also an energy saver. If invitations to holiday get-togethers seem endless, “accept what you can and don’t hesitate to say no. Don’t feel you have to explain why you can’t go,” Winter advised.

Start anew Facing change is a difficult, even painful process, but it’s also essential to move forward. “When you stop worrying over meeting the expectations of holidays past, you’ll devise new ways to handle things,” Winter concluded. “New” doesn’t have to mean “worse.” Some people find a scaled-back holiday is more enjoyable for everyone. You may rediscover how much you enjoy just being with friends and family after a long year. Roberta Winter, MSW, LCSW, MSCS, specialized in working with people with MS at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago for over 17 years and is now in private practice.

Lower the bar There’s always some television special or magazine article to remind us what a pictureperfect holiday should be. But there are no holiday police who will make arrests if the presents aren’t hand-wrapped or the pies come from a bakery. Stress is a trigger for depression and so is exhaustion. “Start out with the attitude that the holidays

TOLL FREE NUMBER 1 800 344 4867 | 3

Local Golden Corral Restaurants Raise $28,000 to Support MS Scholarship Program In September, Golden Corral restaurants in North Carolina and participating locations in upstate South Carolina raised money for the MS Scholarship Program. Three Golden Corral franchises came together to support this effort, including the local franchise, Jax LLC, owned by longtime Walk MS supporters Woody Fox and Ed Manns. Our local franchise alone has announced $28,205 raised for scholarships. Remember to thank your local Golden Corral manager next time you visit! This was their largest ever charity fundraiser.

Ed Manns (far left), Eric Esterline (second from left) and Woody Fox (far right) -- National MS Society supporters from Jax LLC Golden Corral -enjoyed the Great Gatsby Gala with their spouses on August 6, 2011.

MS Scholarship Program Now Accepting Applications Highly qualified high-school seniors who have been diagnosed with MS or who have a parent with MS are eligible for the National MS Society’s scholarship program. Additional criteria include: • financial need • academic record • participation in school and community activities • an essay (written by the applicant) on the impact of MS on his or her life


Awards range from $1,000–$3,000 and a small number of four-year awards are offered. Applications for 2012 scholarships will be accepted (online only) between October 1, 2011, and January 13, 2012. For more information, to see last year’s scholarship recipients or to apply:


Bike MS Success More than 1,000 cyclists pedaled to Sunset Beach, NC, in this year’s Bike MS: Breakaway to the Beach event, and raised $1 million to fight multiple sclerosis! As cyclists rode to the beach, they were supported by an army of volunteers serving: 30 rest stops, five start sites, two lunch stops, two finish lines, and one amazing route! Nearly 600 volunteers spread across two states to create a wonderful experience for everyone involved. The National MS Society appreciates the support of our wonderful volunteers, and the sponsors who made this event possible through their financial support. Special thanks go to presenting sponsors NCBT and SCBT. If you are looking for a bank, please consider supporting them!

A cyclist celebrates his arrival at Sunset Beach, NC, at the conclusion of the Bike MS event. episodes of numbness and loss of sensation in various areas of his body, Gallagher was diagnosed with MS. “When I received my diagnosis, I recall looking directly at the doctor and saying, ‘Well, Doc, I may have MS, but it doesn’t have me!’” In 2006, he rode in Bike MS for the first time. “It’s quite an enjoyable ride -- I like the scenery and the camaraderie,” said Gallagher. “But I don’t just do it for myself; I do it to raise funds for the Society.”

Michael Gallagher, age 60, finds special fulfillment at Bike MS. He had his first experience with MS at age 28, while working at the Biblis Nuclear Plant in Germany, “I went totally blind in my left eye,” he explained. “For a while, doctors could not figure out what the exact cause was. They said I would need to leave Germany immediately to start treatment in the U.S.” Four years later, after experiencing additional

Gallagher encourages other people with Michael Gallagher, MS to stay active and participate in National Bike MS 2011 MS Society events, including fundraising. “I always remind people what the money is going to,” said Mike of his fundraising success. “I remind them they are investing funds to assist in finding a cause and a cure for MS.” TOLL FREE NUMBER 1 800 344 4867 | 5

October MS Service Days Help Homeowners in Charlotte and Asheville, NC Charlotte, NC Seventeen volunteers from the Service Learning class at Central Piedmont Community College, along with National MS Society leadership volunteers and Chapter staff, came together Saturday, October 8, to complete projects for two homeowners with MS in Charlotte.

Asheville, NC The MS Community of Western NC recruited 50 volunteers to complete projects at 10 homes on Saturday, October 15. The MS Community of Western NC is a volunteer group of the National MS Society made up of Asheville-area individuals, families and caregivers affected by MS along with supportive professionals, volunteers and neighbors. The group meets weekly to discuss ways to increase awareness and to plan activities. Past activities include a wine tasting and an ice cream social.

Getting Involved With Community Awareness

CPCC students completed projects for two Charlotte, NC, homeowners with MS.

The MS Community of Western NC began as a community awareness project. A similar community awareness project is now being piloted in Greenville, SC. For more information or to get involved with a community awareness project, call 1-800-344-4867 or take the interest survey on our website:

Find the survey under Programs & Services > Community Engagement > Awareness Campaign.

MS Service Day volunteers in Asheville, NC, included Leslie Newman (second from right), leader of the MS Community of Western NC volunteer group.


It’s Walk MS Time! Let’s get ready for Walk MS 2012! This is the perfect time to register and start forming your team. The holiday season offers great opportunities to kick-start your fundraising: consider asking for Walk MS donations instead of gifts, mailing pledge requests with your Christmas cards, and/or hosting holiday fundraisers. We are determined to truly make our mark against MS this year by raising at least $458,000 at Walk MS! We are also excited to announce a brand-new Walk MS experience for 2012 -- Walk MS rally events! By asking the MS community to come together at fewer, larger, Walk MS events, we can ensure a spectacular experience and raise more money and awareness for MS.

December Tuesday

January Tuesday



2  Challenge Walk MS: Charleston Challenge


12  MS Awareness Week begins


13  Mindfulness Meditation teleconference

April Tuesday

of other MS community members in an epic parade. These events, the rallying point of the MS movement, will connect you to others across the region moving toward a world free of MS. This year, there will be nine Walk MS rally events - please plan to join us!


*Four of the Walk MS rally events will have special programs designed specifically for people with MS - so even if you don’t plan to walk, please come and enjoy a special program!

14  Genetics, Genomic Medicine and MS teleconference



April 14 April 28 April 14 April 21 (tentative) May 19 May 5 April 29 April 21 April 21

10  Learning to be a Great SelfAdvocate teleconference


Imagine joining hundreds or even thousands

Aiken, SC Asheville, NC Cabarrus, NC * Charleston, SC * Charlotte, NC * Columbia, SC * Greenville, SC Hendersonville, NC Shelby, NC

13  SSDI and MS teleconference



10  Women’s Issues and MS teleconference 14  Walk MS: Aiken Rally (includes a program for people with MS)  Walk MS: Cabarrus Rally (includes a program) 21  Walk MS: Charleston Rally (TBD)  Walk MS: Hendersonville Rally  Walk MS: Shelby Rally 28  Greenville Hospital System Symposium on MS and Parkinson’s Disease (Greenville, SC)  Walk MS: Asheville Rally 29  Walk MS: Greenville, SC, Rally

May Saturday

Tuesday Saturday

5  Walk MS: Columbia Rally (includes a program)  Zoo Day for Families with MS (Asheboro, NC) 8  Holistic Medicine and MS teleconference 19  Walk MS: Charlotte Rally (includes a program)

TOLL FREE NUMBER 1 800 344 4867 | 7

Challenge Walk MS: Charleston Challenge


March 2-4, 2012 Historic Charleston to Isle of Palms, SC Accept the ultimate physical and philanthropic challenge: walk 50 miles in three days, and raise $1,500 for the National MS Society! It’s an experience that will truly change your life.

Mid-Atlantic Chapter 9801-I Southern Pine Blvd. Charlotte, NC

Don’t want to walk? Consider signing up as a volunteer or virtual walker. It’s time to accept the challenge! Register now! Call 1-800-344-4867 or visit

Great Gatsby Gala

Presenting Sponsor • Wells Fargo

The 24th annual Great Gatsby Gala was held August 6, 2011, in Charlotte, NC. The gala had approximately 400 attendees and raised $81,000 to fight MS. The National MS Society appreciates the support of the sponsors who helped make the Great Gatsby Gala possible.

Corporate Partners • Atcom • Extravaganza Media Partners • Lite 102.9 • 96.1 FM • Kiss 95.1 FM Pacesetter Sponsors • Elliott Davis • Classic Graphics Fitzgerald Circle • Annette Barron • Bolton Family Foundation • Charles Schwab • Compass Group

• Defender Capital • Garretson Resolution Group • Harris Teeter • Jack & Brooke Hall • Jax LLC Golden Corral • Parker Poe with Craig & Mitzi Lynch • Signature Consultants, LLC • Smith Wealth Management Group Benefactors • Berkeley Capital Advisors • McGuireWoods LLP • Tracy Wolsko • Wells Daisley Rabon, P.A.

MS Connection: Fourth Quarter 2011  

The MS Connection newsletter delivers updates on MS research, programs, and activities of the National MS Society's Mid-Atlantic Chapter.