We’ve all heard the old pun:
Be alert. This country needs more lerts.
This being March, “MS Awareness Month”, let me paraphrase the lame pun for the occasion:
Be aware. MS needs more wares.
In fact, nobody really needs more wares. We’ve already inundated ourselves with so many wares, we need sheds, PODS, and off-site storage to stow all our wares in. This was all just an excuse to introduce today’s post and to make you all more
wares, er, aware.
What better place to increase awareness than that fount of nonsensical, misleading, but occasionally useful information: the World Wide Interweb. Because I’m always looking for ways to save time and cut corners, I’m going to rely on others out there on the ‘net to do my work for me today. Here is a list of actually quite interesting and informative web sites related to the disease we all know and love. In truth, we neither know it nor love it. The phrase just sort of flowed out without even stopping.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society – The MS Society is the most obvious place to start. They’re the IBM of MS nonprofits. (Except they’re not a cold, vicious, money-grubbing-yet-failing-miserably organization.) They do some good things and their web site is chock-full of great info and resources. They’re also the sponsors of the MS Walks and Bike rides, speaking of which…
My personal donor page for the MS Bike ride on Martha’s Vineyard – I’ve been doing this ride since 1996, long before I was diagnosed with MS. Family and friends are always along for the ride as a team. It’s a highlight of my year. The last few years, we’ve called ourselves the Vineyard Square Wheelers. I’d be honored if you’d visit my page and consider supporting me or my team.
The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America – Though smaller than the NMSS, this is another legitimate and helpful group.
The MS Cure Fund – These good folks began right here in the Northeast but have since expanded all over the country. Their greatest benefit for me is their many useful presentations – all with free food! – of up-to-date and unbiased MS information. They also have a very helpful calendar of all MS events all across the country in areas they serve. Contrary to popular opinion, I’m not pushing their agenda because they recently put a story about me on their web site and let me hawk my book. Though I didn’t complain.
Can Do MS – This group holds a special place in my heart because their founder, the late Olympic skier Jimmie Heuga, is such an inspiration to me. He literally and single-handedly changed the entire philosophy of MS care. It’s my considered opinion that his contribution to MS care is greater than that of all the pharmaceutical companies combined. He certainly helped me. I encourage you to read his story here.
Yvonne deSousa – Speaking of inspirations, Ms. deSousa wrote a book about her MS experiences. That was one of the things that inspired me to write a book, one that has nothing to do with MS. In addition to riding a bike, creativity is my other non-traditional therapy. If we’re created in God’s image as I believe we are and as the Good Book tells us, then we are creative beings. Suppressing that creative urge can do no good to our minds, bodies, or spirits. Yvonne says the same about laughter and I agree. It’s good therapy. Read her blog. Buy her book. Then buy mine. 🙂
Long Haul Paul – Here’s a unique guy with a unique mission: To ride his motorcycle one million miles in an effort to raise money and awareness for the fight against MS. I heard him speak once at a pharma talk. His blog and cause are worth looking into.
There are lots more valuable web sites out there, but these are ones I’ve had personal dealings with. Note that there are also a lot of bad sites and bad organizations. Believe it or not, there are scam organizations profiting off people’s MS misery. Dante would have written about a special place in Hell for people like that. The cautionary lesson is to carefully research any group before you give them a nickel of your money or a second of your time. I’ll vouch for the above. After that, you’re on your own.
Now go and be a ware.