The MS Society of Canada flag was raised at Creston Town Hall on May 6. Present for the event were (from left) Coun. Joanna Wilson

The MS Society of Canada flag was raised at Creston Town Hall on May 6. Present for the event were (from left) Coun. Joanna Wilson

Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada flag raised at Creston Town Hall

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Thousands of Canadians navigate their daily lives with multiple sclerosis, a disease that can cause vision impairment, loss of balance, extreme fatigue and paralysis. This month, people with MS and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada are launching Action on MS, a campaign calling for systemic changes in support of those living with MS.

“Every day, MS impacts the lives of loved ones and members of the community, in addition to Canadians who have MS themselves,” said Debbie Irwin, community services co-ordinator for the MS society. “The Action on MS campaign gives Canadians the opportunity to call on federal and provincial governments to improve supports for caregivers through the development of a national caregiver action plan.”

The MS society is seeing the physical, emotional and financial impact on caregivers and family members of people living with disabilities and chronic illnesses, including people living with MS.

“Supports for caregivers are few and far between,” said Ken Chubb of the Creston MS self-help group. “Many caregivers suffer burnout.”

The Town of Creston has proclaimed May as MS Awareness Month, and raised the flag on May 6. Creston residents are invited to take part in the provincewide and nationwide efforts to end MS by:

•sending a message to members of Parliament calling for systemic changes in support of caregivers by going to www.actiononms.ca or www.1dayinmay.ca;

•contacting the local MS self-help group to find out how to get involved in the community; and

•seeking out information to develop a better understanding of the issues affecting people with MS and their families.

MS is a chronic, often disabling, disease of the brain and spinal cord. It is the most common neurological disease of young adults in Canada, affecting an estimated 100,000 people. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40, and the unpredictable effects of MS last for the rest of their lives. The MS society provides services to people with MS and their families and funds to find the cause and cure for this disease. Visit mssociety.ca or call 1-800-268-7582 to make a donation or for more information.

—MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS SOCIETY OF CANADA