msf_staff: (Kasey)
And what an exhausting day it has made! I'm recovering from a cold today so I've been working from home, trying to spread the word about everything we've got going on for NMSEAM. I had so much I wanted to say about it here when I first thought about it this morning, but you all will forgive me if for now - ten hours later - you just get the bare bones (i.e. the links)!

Huh, now that I think of it, you may just be thankful for that. :-)

* A new class of MSF Ambassadors will be selected. See the application for full details.

* Two national teleconferences will take place. Here are the details about the Maximizing Mobility teleconference, and here are the details for the conference on Staying Open to Change.

* Eight regional educational programs are scheduled. See this announcement to find out if there's one near you.

* Free MS Awareness Kits are available. Order yours here or click this link for a photo of what's inside. (See also the Get Involved page to learn about this year's initiative and how you can win a free t-shirt and/or be featured in MSFocus.)

* On the Facebook NMSEAM fan page and on our Twitter page we'll be sharing a fact about MS every day of the month, and asking people to pass that fact on to their networks. If you're on FB or Twitter, please think about following us there.

* Over the course of the month, as the inspiration strikes me, I'll be having a few quick (one day at most) t-shirt contests. So keep an eye out here (on LJ & DW), or on the aforementioned FB and Twitter pages.

That's all I can think of for the moment, all though I'm sure I'm missing a number of things. Please let me know what you think of these ideas, and if you have any suggestions for MSF, now or for the future of NMSEAM.
msf_staff: (Anne Marie)
Talking about MS isn’t always easy, no matter who the audience. But when it comes to questions from your kids, the conversation might seem even harder.

If you’re wondering how to talk about symptoms that come and go, the invisible effects of MS, or just wondering how and when to start the conversation, join the MSF for a free national teleconference with guest speaker Dr. Paula K. Rauch, founding director for the Marjorie E. Korff Parenting At a Challenging Time (PACT) Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital's Cancer Center.

“But You Don't Look Sick: Talking With Your Kids About MS” will take place at 8 p.m. EST Wednesday, March 11.

To participate, click this link five minutes before the call start time at 8 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. Central, 6 p.m. Mountain, 5 p.m. Pacific.) This link will help connect both your browser and telephone to the call.


Registrations are also being taken for the second MSF teleconference in March, “Keeping Connected: Real World Advice for Couples Coping with Chronic Illness” with Dr. Fred Foley, scheduled for 8 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 25. To register, please call (800) 225-6495, ext. 172 .
msf_staff: (Kasey)
2009 is just hours away - a thought which leaves me shaking my head and biting back cliches about time flying. But what does 2009 mean for people who need the MSF's services?

Well, a new year means a new budget. Our year-round programs - such as those that provide homecare, durable medical equipment, assistive technology, and computers - tend to run low on funds toward the end of the year. So if you're in need of services, the first quarter is a good time to think about applying.

Also, one of our cyclical programs - the Cooling Program - starts in the first quarter. Applications will be available Feb. 1, and will be accepted through June 1. I know that for many of you, cooling is the last thing on your minds right now... as you're struggling through a few feet of snow to get to your cars. But come June or July, will you be feeling the same way? Get your applications in early!

We're also really looking forward to National MS Education and Awareness Month in March, and especially to our Be Visible initiative, through which we'll be selecting and training individuals to serve as MS advocates and MSF ambassadors across the country. But I'll tell you more about that after the holiday.

For more information about any of the MSF's programs and services, or for applications to the programs I mentioned above, see http://www.msfocus.org/programs_services.php.
msf_staff: (Kasey)
As you may know, each year the MSF hosts National MS Education and Awareness Month (TM) in March. Around here, we informally call the planning committee "the March Awareness committee." This drives our executive directors crazy, because as they've pointed out - correctly and repeatedly - we are not raising awareness of the month of March. We are raising awareness of MS. But then again, we try to do that every day. March is special. :-)

Two weeks ago, the planning committee had its first meeting for National MS Education and Awareness Month in March 2009. The purpose of the first meeting is always to develop a theme - a brainstorming process fraught with a lot of awkward silences, silly outbursts, laughing, and repeating of the same thing five different ways, but the end result always happily surprises us all. Somehow, we always seem to come up with a strong message, succinctly expressed.

This year's theme is (::drumroll::) MS: Now You See It, Now You Don't.

Stop and think about it for a minute. It'll hit you.

It did, right? You got it? I think anyone with MS, or who has a loved one with MS, relates to that sense of unpredictability. Symptoms that come and go, or were just invisible to begin with, are part of what makes living with MS so tough. We'll have new publications dealing with those symptoms, and some other theme-related activities in store. Tune in here for details as the time draws closer.

LJ Housekeeping note: To those of you who've friended this journal, hi! I just wanted you to know that we haven't friended you back because we've decided not to friend any journals without explicit permission. If you'd like us to, drop a comment please!

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