It’s that time of year again – FUN(d)RAISING TIME!!!. There are a TON of walks, runs, golf tournaments, bike events, auctions – both silent and loud, etc., going on right now. It’s all so important and if you’re involved with one in any way – including donating – please let me thank you on behalf of MS’ers, and in particular, FUMS’ers, everywhere. We need money to dedicate to research to find a cure and symptom control in the meantime – and to help fund programs for those hardest hit. I’ve been asked a lot lately why, in addition to fundraising events, there is a need for an awareness month. March, each year, is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. Just what in the hell does that mean? I’m sooooo aware of MS. My family’s uber aware of MS. My friends and neighbors? Aware. Co-workers? Aware. Teachers at my children’s schools? Yep – aware. Seems everyone within my sphere of influence is aware of Multiple Sclerosis. So why do we need a particular month or week for MS Awareness?
Great question. Thank you. You’re welcome. I really need to get out of my home office more often! Back to the question: why do we need a specific awareness week or month? Because there are a TON more people in this world that either don’t have someone within their circle that has MS or they’re unaware that they have someone within their circle that has MS. Because of that – we’re not able to generate the donated funds that we need to move this train forward. There’s a lot of really great, really exciting research going on right now – but without funding – it will all come to a screeching halt. No mon, no fun! No progress, no cure. By calling attention to the orange bedecked demon, we’re educating people on the unpredictability of this disease, of the weird, quirky symptoms, of the debilitating nature, of the unemployable reality, of the need for help and the need for research – hence, the need to donate.
By sharing our truth with folks, we give them the opportunity to understand how this disease not only affects each of us – but the entire community within which we live. My tax-generating work substantially decreased when I could no longer work outside my home. That affects us all. Our health care and social services in the United States are currently in a state of flux. People who haven’t dealt with a chronic disease have a tough time understanding far-reaching implications for those of us who are living it. They deserve to know. And with knowledge, comes power. When people “get it”, they typically want to help. That help comes in many forms: monetary donation toward research, gathering helpful medical information, work-from-home leads, offers of help with kids, a dialing down of expectations.
My power comes from my truth: I have MS and occasionally – I need help. Occasionally I need a little understanding. Always – I need love and a feeling that we’re progressing toward something – toward a cure. Hope is what’s needed most – in all situations, especially with a health issue. Making people aware can expand our ability to hope – because with understanding comes commitment to bettering. Whatever the situation may be. The more people that are “aware” the more people that will potentially help – in whatever form that may take. Give people the gift of opportunity to give – of themselves, of their money, of their time, of their understanding. Give the gift of awareness. And participate, in whatever form your able, in the fundraising efforts. With each dollar, we’re gaining on the MonSter. FUMS!!