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A ride share service person interacting with a phone app

Multiple Sclerosis Foundation Partners with LYFT

There are so many services offered to people with MS that are often overlooked. One organization that routinely offers many of these services that improve the quality of life to individuals with MS is the MS Focus, Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. You might know MS Focus because they have an annual cooling campaign that gives away cooling equipment to people who apply. They also have grants for people who need assistance with a special project such as building a ramp into a home or relocating a washer and dryer to make it accessible. They also have a computer technology program to help people who don’t have access to computers. You can find all of these services on their website.

Transportation services

How many of you have struggled with getting to your neurology office, infusion centers or therapy appointment because you don’t drive or no one is available to take you? Perhaps you live in one county but those services are in another county and your paratransit service has been able to get you there because they are not permitted to leave their home county?

Assistance to get to medical appointments

The MS Focus has added a service that I want to be sure everyone knows about. In a partnership with the rideshare company LYFT, MS Focus is now offering assistance to get to medical appointments. Through their Transportation Assistance Grant program, MS Focus and Lyft can help with your transportation to and from appointments. MS Focus also will help with paratransit fees and minor car repairs.

Lyft program requirements

The Lyft program has a few requirements, which include having a cell phone that supports text messaging to use LYFT to call for a driver. You also must be able to transfer in and out of a car, because at this point there are very few Lyft drivers who have wheelchair transport vans and the drivers are not permitted to help with the transfer. It is ok to bring a support person with you to help with transfer. MS Focus and Lyft are working to improve that problem of vehicles that can handle wheelchairs.

This program, like the others ones with MS Focus, is a need-based program and you will be asked to apply for the aid through a simple process which can be done online or in a print application.

Reaction to program

“There was tremendous excitement about this program from the healthcare providers in attendance at the Consortium for MS Centers annual meeting in Seattle, who told us that transportation is one of the biggest obstacles their patients face. Through our partnership with Lyft, and with support from Genentech, we’re breaking down that barrier and helping the MS community have better access to the care they need,” said Natalie Blake, Director of Program Services for MS Focus: The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.

I hope you are also excited to know there is a partner like the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation helping to make access to care easier for everyone. Don’t be shy if you can use the help, MS Focus is there for all of us.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • MsJune
    1 month ago

    It’s a national law!

  • MsJune
    1 month ago

    Also remember there is a program here in Michigan, that has a mini bus, to take a disabled person to/from doctors appointments, to/from work it’s a law,
    the disability law. They will take me anywhere a non-disabled can go.
    The LAW says we have to have equal transportation. Check with you community to see if it’s offered.

  • shirley ipsen
    1 month ago

    After having worked for New Mexico Aging And Long Term Services I recognize the transportation problems. Horst for ms focus.

  • Contalita
    2 months ago

    Thank You!2

  • Donnagoonan
    2 months ago

    I think this is a wonderful idea! But the MS people I know that need transportation need wheelchair van.

  • Shelby Comito moderator
    2 months ago

    Hi @Donnagoonan, thanks for commenting! This program is currently only available to those who are able to enter a vehicle independently or with the help of a caregiver who will accompany them, and their mobility aids must fit in a standard vehicle trunk. But there is a program Uber launched called uberWAV, which employs wheelchair accessible vehicles, but it’s only available in select cities. It may be worth sharing with those you know who are in need! Here’s some more information about it: https://msfocus.org/Magazine/Magazine-Items/Posted/Accessible-Transportation.aspx Hope it’s helpful. Best, Shelby, MultipleSclerosis.net Team Member

  • asapcynthia
    2 months ago

    I am going to express a concern I have about transportation in general, cars in specific. Ford announced earlier this year they would discontinue sedans and focus on the SUV/CUV market, and there in lies my problem. I cannot lift my leg that high to get in those vehicles. My knee doesn’t always bend when I want it to, so someone has to grab my ankle push it up so my knee bends, and then lift it up and over that ridge and place it on the floorboard. I can manage once that leg is inside the vehicle. Well, the last time I used Uber the guy came in an SUV. Unfortunately, I had to ask for his help getting my leg in and I felt bad for the man, having to get up close and personal with my hind end and all. I always make sure I tip these guys, in cash so Uber doesn’t get a cut, but still. If I ever win the lottery I am buying a Mercedes sedan and hiring a driver. Until then, well, I’ll have to make sure I’m wearing clean underwear.

  • KATHLEEN KNIGHT
    2 months ago

    I was having the same problem with my Trailbrazer so my daughter had these very nice side boards put on both sides. Worked out just great. But know they won’t let me drive anymore. That hurt.

  • Kim Dolce moderator
    2 months ago

    @asapcynthia, I hear you! Love your humor about the whole thing.

    I have the same problem and drive a 2001 Ford Focus. When Ford announced it would discontinue sedans, I considered buying a new Ford Fiesta and making it last for 20 years. Can’t afford it yet.

    Wish I had a solution to the too-high cars we struggle to climb into. Thank you so much for sharing your story! Best, Kim, moderator

  • Lamm
    2 months ago

    I had no idea that there was help for the MS community, i for one would use some of these services ! I have to figure out who can take me here or there, so this is great to find out there are rides that you don’t have to pay large sums of money for. This info has made me a happy camper. thank you for this info.

  • Laura Kolaczkowski author
    2 months ago

    I love happy campers. I’m so glad you found this useful.

  • djohns531
    2 months ago

    My MS appointments are at the Mellen Center for MS at the Cleveland Clinic. Often my appointments are back to back and have to be turned into an overnight stay that requires a hotel stay. I CAN drive there, but for some odd reason traveling COMPLETELY DRAINS me, I honest to God have fallen asleep WAY to often, ONCE IS WAY TOO MANY TIMES is too frightening!! I have found a hotel that is really clean, not in the downtown high $$$$ hotel area but only a 15 minute drive to the Mellen Center with free parking..,not CrAzY expensive at all, but I don’t actually have the money for a hotel, no matter the price. I could use help with the travel expense (turnpike tolls, gasoline, hotel room and inexpensive dining, etc.) Right now, my father has been funding the trips. He is 81 years old, lives on Social Security, his only income, so I just cannot accept his contribution that he cannot spare anymore. This is such a wonderful program and there is SO MUCH ASSISTANCE OUT THERE that i desperately need…I HAD NO IDEA THAT IT EVEN EXISTED!! I will continue with “THE BIGGEST HURDLE” VERY SOON!!! I thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!! ~D. Johns

  • Laura Kolaczkowski author
    2 months ago

    Please be sure to call MSFocus and discuss your specific. Needs. They are very people friendly and have several ways they might be able to help.

  • Dianne Scott moderator
    2 months ago

    Hi Laura,
    What a great and informative article! The information you’ve generously rendered is very useful to the community whether to utilize personally if applicable, share or both.. Thanks so much!
    Warmly,
    Dianne ♡

  • Laura Kolaczkowski author
    2 months ago

    I’ve urged all my fellow MS advocates to share this information widely. It’s a service that many people might use to improve their care. Thanks for letting me know you found it informative.

  • Cathy Chester moderator
    2 months ago

    I’m glad you wrote about this Laura. I’ve been telling everyone I know and many advocates to spread the word about this important and useful partnership. Hope it helps many in the community. Cathy

  • Dianne Scott moderator
    2 months ago

    Hi Laura,
    What a great and informative article! The information you’ve generously rendered is very useful to the community whether to utilize personally applicable, share or both.. Thanks so much!
    Warmly,
    Dianne ♡

  • Laura Kolaczkowski author
    2 months ago

    I’ve urged all my fellow MS advocates to share this information widely. It’s a service that many people might use to improve their care. Thanks for letting me know you found it informative.

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