Awareness Doesn't End Here

In March we all tout MS Awareness in every way we can think to do. We blast articles and blog posts and studies on social media, talk to friends and family, participate in MS Walks and events around the country (and the world), and so much more. From the smallest gestures like wearing our MS gear and answering questions, to organizing or participating in events, every little bit makes a difference in peoples awareness of the disease. But what about this month makes it so important to bringing awareness? Why should we only do these things 1/12th of the year? Shouldn’t it be our job to make sure we are getting the word out, making people aware and informing others about MS year round?

Awareness doesn’t end here. It shouldn’t end here. March should be a month of beginnings. Beginning to bring MS to the public's attention, beginning to teach people about the varying symptoms that can come along with the disease and how each of us is affected differently. This should be the time when we start teaching people about how their words can affect and hurt when they don’t understand what we go through on a daily basis. We need to take this time to start up the conversations that are hard to have, talk to people about things they don’t want to hear and about what they can do to help.

So how can you continue to raise awareness year-round? What kinds of things can we do to make sure that we are not ending our representation of MS and how it affects us? One of the biggest things I’ve found I can do no matter what time of year it is, is to educate people. Letting people know what MS is, how YOU personally are affected, and what you live with day-to-day. Encouraging donations of time and money to research is another excellent thing you can do because not only will it bring awareness to the disease, but hopefully it will fuel enough research to eventually bring a cure!

What can you think of to do to continue to bring awareness to MS throughout the year? If each of us takes the time and effort to do some small things beyond the month of March, we could make a huge difference. Can you vow to continue educating others? What else will you do this year to make sure that MS research is able to continue being funded? I have always wanted to organize an event locally, get the public involved, while doing something like a bike ride or walk. Now I just need to make this idea a reality, which is my vow for the year. What’s yours?

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