NATIONAL MS SOCIETY MISSION
The National MS Society is a collective of passionate individuals who want to do something about MS now—to move together toward a world free of multiple sclerosis. MS stops people from moving. We exist to make sure it doesn't.
We help each person address the challenges of living with MS through our 50-state network of chapters. The Society helps people affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, and providing programs and services that help people with MS and their families move their lives forward.
- We are moving research forward by relentlessly pursuing prevention, treatment and cure.
- We are moving to reach out and respond to individuals, families and communities living with multiple sclerosis.
- We are moving politicians and legislation to champion the needs of people with MS through activism, advocacy and influence.
- We are moving to mobilize the millions of people who want to do something about MS now.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT®
Why We Walk MS
Walk MS is a time and place for us to come together to spread awareness and raise money for critical programs, services and research for people with MS. Click below to read the personal stories of our participants:
Team MS Achievers – UCLA has been participating in Walk MS: Greater Los Angeles since 2002. The team consists of hundreds of members from The Marilyn Hilton MS Achievement Center at UCLA, a collaborative MS wellness program offered by the UCLA Department of Neurology and the National MS Society. Stacy Nonoguchi, Recreation Therapist and the team captain of MS Achievers, has been working since day one to get members of the Achievement Center to participate in this fun and family-oriented event. Last year, she successfully recruited over 185 members and their team raised over $35,000! Stacy explained, “We have people who can fundraise thousands of dollars and people who raise hundreds of dollars. But I tell them, every dollar counts.”
Stacy’s inspiring leadership of her team has empowered MS Achievement Center members to participate in Walk MS, even when they thought they couldn’t. “One of our sayings at the Center is ‘achievement has no finish line.’ Some members set goals for themselves and train to walk in the event; others set a goal to just walk across the finish line. They see it as what they can do and what they will do."
Whether they walk, stroll or roll, team MS Achievers – UCLA is making great strides. “We want to empower them to live well with their MS by fundraising, participating and living their life on their own terms. They’re out there not only advocating for themselves but for other people while giving back to the Society. They’re empowering others and their families, one step at a time.”
Learn more about The Marilyn Hilton MS Achievement Center.
Mario Stubbs, team captain of Walking Wolves, is gearing up for his second year at Walk MS: Las Vegas. The “Wolves” consist of 60 of Mario’s family members, friends, and former classmates. Mario’s family and friends provide a great support system. “Once they found out I had MS, they rallied around to support me. I want everybody to recognize what MS is all about and I want them to learn about it with me.” Mario’s secret to recruitment is utilizing his network. Team members are constantly recruiting their friends and family to join the team and Facebook is the tool of choice to spreading the word about Walk, inviting people to join, and asking for donations. “I have about 900 friends on Facebook and I tell them to sign up for my team if they’re going to participate or donate if they can’t.” Mario also finds ways to fundraise by cooking dinners for local organizations in exchange for donations and selling team t-shirts. “I just can’t wait for the walk! As a matter of fact, I was just about to post on Facebook to see who’s walking with me this year!”
For the past five years, Tammy and her Palm Desert team, Smiles for Tammy, have been recruiting and fundraising ferociously for Walk MS. Last year, their team raised over $26,000! 2013 marks the fourth year of their biggest fundraising event, the MS Golf Tournament. "This is our biggest money raiser and we have a really good time! We get great sponsorships, prizes, and raffle items donated, which help bring in more money," said Diane Bean, a veteran member of the team. In addition to the golf tournament, the team uses many other simple, but effective, fundraising strategies such as setting up donation jars at work; raffling off a beautiful, handmade quilt; and asking for donations from those who cannot attend the Walk.
What advice does Smiles for Tammy offer to team captains looking to grow their team and fundraising?
"Don't just ask people to join your team, solicit people who will also ask for money. It's amazing how easy it is to get donations if everyone on your team calls 5 of their friends, family members, neighbors, etc."
Michelle Vondran, Team Captain of Steel Strong at Walk MS: Inland Empire, was presented with the "Most Inspirational Walker" award on April 20, 2013. Here is her acceptance speech:
Thank you so very much for this award, I will try to earn it every day moving forward. While I’ve only been participating in Walk MS for two years, it was one of the first things I knew I would have to do after being diagnosed.
I walk for several different reasons, first to say thank you to the National MS Society. In the very dark days after hearing the words, MRI results, multiple sclerosis and devastating, in the same sentence from a doctor, I thought my life would never be the same. However, I quickly got myself together and started researching MS and the first site I found was the National MS Society. After reading every single item on the website at least twice, I started to realize that just maybe it was all going to be ok. It was obvious that what I thought I knew about MS was very much outdated. So I walk as a way to pay you back.
Secondly, I walk to thank those that have been walking for many years before me. Their efforts have ensured that newly diagnosed patients such as myself have quite a good prognosis, the most current information, tremendous support and access to numerous treatment options. The third reason I walk is so future generations won’t have to know what an MS walk is; there will be a prevention or cure and we will no longer have to raise awareness or money. MS will be a thing of the past.
Lastly, I walk because I can. And if the day should ever come when I can’t, then I’ll roll.