msf_staff: (Kasey)
≈ Sometimes the direction MS research turns is surprising. We're used to hearing about immunomodulators, stem cells, genetics... but worms? Anne Marie and I are in disagreement about this article. It gives her a bit of the heebie-jeebies, but I'm feeling vindicated for letting my boys play in the dirt.

≈ As I was getting ready for work this morning, I heard the familiar voice of a friend, coming from my TV! I looked up to find Jonna Patton on the Today Show, talking about her "bionic leg" - the electric stimulator she uses for MS foot drop. I knew Jonna before she got the device, and I can tell you, it really did make a dramatic difference for her. But she was always a go-getter, bum leg or not.

It was a very good piece, I thought, and nice to see a national media outlet devote almost 8 minutes of air-time to an MS symptom. Good job, Today Show!

≈ The new issue of MSFocus is available online - for those of you outside the U.S., or anyone who just can't wait for it to hit their mailbox. The feature series is on genetics and MS, but there's also a really interesting article on drugs in the pipeline for progressive MS. That's something people have been asking about for a while.
msf_staff: (Kasey)
I've been working on the MSF's publications - first as a proofreader, then as a writer and editor - for nearly twelve years. (There was also my short stint as a graphic artist, but we try to forget about that! I'm extremely grateful for Terry Schenker, the graphic artist we've had for the last six years, who has given our publications such a distinctive look.) I was named Editor of the re-launched MSFocus magazine in 1999 and have served on the editorial committee in one capacity or another since that time.

The interesting thing about that (to me, anyway, and I hope you'll find it interesting too) is that in 1999, I was the MSF's Director of Information Technology. How does an IT geek become the head of the publishing staff? As I said in Part One, "In a small nonprofit organization, the staff tend to wear many hats." I was here, I had the skill and the interest, so the administration let me hold the reins. It was just a new line added to my job description.

That mindset, of making use of the assets you have on hand, continues at the MSF today, which is the reason I'm also the sound technician who records the audio verion of MSFocus and one of the voices you'll hear on the CD each issue.

When Chris Ratliff (who had taken over for me as Editor, but recently relocated) decided we should provide an audio version of the magazine for people with visual impairment or motor control challenges, she contacted the director of a local broadcasting school, a terrific guy named Chris Hudspeth. He and his student volunteers began recording the magazine. But when Chris Hudspeth decided to relocate, the future of the project seemed to be in doubt. We could've hired an expensive recording studio, but why not use the assets we had on hand? Chris H. helped me locate the equipment we'd need and trained me to record and edit the sound files. Those IT geek skills I mentioned came in handy. Thanks to his help - and staff members from every department who take time out of their busy schedules to read the articles - we continue to offer an audio version of the magazine at virtually no expense to the MSF. That's more money we can direct to other services to benefit people with MS.

So that was my point about thinking like a small organization. And thanks to that thinking, MSFocus is now available in print, on audio CD, and online.

BTW, subscriptions to the print and audio version are available free of charge to people with MS and their family members residing in the U.S. For anyone outside the U.S., trust me, the online version is pretty awesome. You can even see the newest issue before it hits mailboxes later this week.

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January 2013

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