Buffalo, NY- Multiple Sclerosis activists gathered to raise awareness about MS, discuss new research, legislation, and funding requests and opportunities to help people living with MS.

NYS Assembly Majority Leader Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes presented a proclamation in honor of MS Awareness Week. The Majority Leader is a champion on budget and legislative matters that are important to people living with MS in the NYS Assembly.

There is a high prevalence of MS in WNY. Research has proven that there is a higher prevalence of MS above the equator. To learn more please contact Penny L. Pennington, MAS, Director, Development and Program Management at Jacobs MS Center for Treatment and Research (716) 343-2810, pennypen@buffalo.edu and she will connect you with Dr. David Hojnacki, Associate Professor of Neurology Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences for an interview.

The CASA-MS Study is promising local research led by the University at Buffalo is providing more information about MS disease progression. “Brain lesions — areas of brain tissue that show damage from injury or disease — are the biomarker most widely used to determine multiple sclerosis disease progression. But an innovative new study led by the University at Buffalo strongly suggests that the volume of white matter lesions is neither proportional to, nor indicative of, the degree of severe disability in patients” written by Ellen Goldbaum, February 24, 2023, see article by clicking here (http://bit.ly/3J5Yc3V). To reach the lead researcher of the CASA-MS Study, Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD., Prof of Neurology and Director of Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center, contact Penny L. Pennington, MAS, Director, Development and Program Management at Jacobs MS Center for Treatment and Research (716) 343-2810, pennypen@buffalo.edu for an interview.

Detailed below are several events happening to raise awareness and funding for the MS cause in WNY.

Thanks to the Buffalo & Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority The Peace Bridge will be illuminated orange on March 13th. Thanks to the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens the Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave, Buffalo will be illuminated orange on March 13-15th. And finally, the atrium at the Jacobs School Of Medicine And Biomedical Sciences, 955 Main Street, Buffalo will be illuminated orange on March 15th.

Over the next month, MS Activists will be conducting local lobby visits with our US Senators and Congressmembers to discuss issues important to people and their families living with MS such as
supporting the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act (H.R. 1267/S. 545). Today, too many air passengers with disabilities still face significant accessibility barriers—including challenges with boarding and deplaning, lack of accessibility and safety onboard the plane itself, and damage to their assistive devices (e.g. wheelchairs) incurred during flights. H.R. 1267/S. 545 can help, remove access barriers on existing airplanes, ensure new airplanes are designed to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities and improve enforcement by bringing standards in line with those of the Americans with Disabilities Act. And MS activists will also seek support for $22 million for the MS Research Program (MSRP) at the Department of Defense and $7.5 million for the VA MS Centers of Excellence in 2024, these research dollars are needed to find more effective treatments for MS to improve the quality of life for people living with MS and to ultimately find a cure for MS.

Finally, everyone is invited to join in this fun event to raise funds for the National MS Society. Strike & Sing Out for MS on Sunday, March 19th from 3-6pm at Classic Lanes, 1840 Military Road, 14217. Cost $20 and includes 2 hours of bowling, shoe rental, pizza, pop, Pot of Luck prize, raffles, Karaoke and lots of fun. Buy tickets at bit.ly/3k1VioD. For more information contact Denise Herkey-Jarosch at dhjarosch@gmail.com or 716-253-7066.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Every day, nearly one million people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) in the United States do whatever it takes to move their lives forward despite the challenges. By sharing their stories and raising awareness, we help people better understand life with MS and become inspired to do whatever it takes to change the world for people living with MS. Explore powerful stories of people with MS. More information: www.nationalmssociety.org.