World MS Day is celebrated on May 27 as a day dedicated to those who suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS). In order to mark the occasion, organizations, companies, advocates, and communities are hosting events throughout the world to share inspiring stories, raise awareness about the disease and campaign to support both patients and research focused on a cure for MS.
Since 2009, the global MS community has come together on World MS Day to celebrate the efforts being made to fight the disease and make an extra effort to help those suffering with MS. What makes World MS Day particularly special is that it is the only globally-organized MS awareness event that highlights the far-reaching scope of the disease, which affects over 2.3 million patients worldwide.
The initiative, which was originally organized by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF), has strengthened and increased over the years, and now includes hundreds of thousands of people participating throughout in 78 different countries. For their part, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is organizing a series of activities to celebrate the 7th edition of the World MS Day, under the theme “access.” “The theme for 2015 is access: access to diagnosis, treatment and support; access to buildings, travel and leisure facilities; and access to education, training and employment,” explained the society in a news release. “Equality of access doesn’t just mean physical access to buildings, but access to the same tools, services and facilities that people who don’t have MS enjoy.”
In order to engage people on the theme, the National MS Society created the WorldMSDay.org website for people to learn about World MS Day events taking place in their local community. However, participating in the day and advocating for MS is not necessarily limited to attending an event in person. The society is also inviting everyone to share a thank you, a message, a photo or e-card with people or organizations that are helping to break down barriers for people living with MS by using the hashtag #strongerthanMS on social media.
In addition, the National MS Society believes that the #strongerthanMS campaign can also be used for individuals to see how others are improving access for MS patients worldwide, as well as inspiring and sharing ideas that can be replicated in other MS communities. “Together we will generate thousands of messages that celebrate networks of support, share achievements, raise awareness and inspire action, breaking down even more barriers to living with MS,” states the Society.
If you are an advocate for MS, be sure to do your part on World MS Day, and use the #strongerthanMS to spread the word.