Multiple sclerosis is a disease that targets women three times as often as men, and as such, Mother’s Day weekend has always seemed a fitting time for the MS Society of Canada’s annual Carnation Campaign.
And, because the complex disease of the central nervous system is most often diagnosed in young adults, typically between the ages of 15 and 40, it also seems natural to encourage young people to help in the campaign to raise funds for research and programs supporting those living with MS.
No longer a single weekend, May is MS Awareness Month, a great way to also improve awareness of this unpredictable disease affecting vision, hearing, memory, balance and mobility; there is no known cause of MS and no cure.
But the efforts of the MS Society of Canada, and countless volunteers and donors, are working to change that, says Ting Rattigan, MS Awareness/Carnation Campaign co-ordinator, pointing to the success of today’s “Streak for MS” event in local high schools. Students purchased a red highlight – or “streak” – for their hair, showing their support for those living with the debilitating disease.
The cornerstone of MS Awareness Month is the annual Mother’s Day weekend Carnation Campaign – watch for volunteers outside stores, malls and shopping centres this Friday and Saturday, make your donation and wear your carnation sticker proudly to demonstrate your support for those living with multiple sclerosis.
To build on the campaign and spread awareness throughout the month, the MS Awareness Campaign is adding new events and new ways to donate, especially those that speak to younger people.
On May 9, a team of volunteers headed out on a “Carnation Crawl,” visiting local pubs and restaurants to share MS information and fresh carnations by donation to patrons, while Mr. Lube will donate $2 from every oil change May 10 to 12 to the campaign.
On May 25, the Hillside Moka House is hosting an all-ages music night featuring talented local singer-songwriter, River.
“1 Day in May” is another new addition to the campaign, encouraging people to donate what they make in one day so that one day there will be no MS – go to 1dayinmay.ca for more details.
The society understands the changes technology has brought to the way people can make charitable donations. Because of that, the MS Society has added the ability to donate online via a cell phone, a scannable QR code, and the option to “Text-to-Give” throughout the month of May – simply text “MS” to 45678 and donate $5.