November Artist of the Month: Celebrating the Work of Artists Affected by Multiple Sclerosis

MSAA is very proud to present our 2013 Art Showcase – celebrating the work of artists affected by MS.

We have received many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share their work and their stories with you. Please visit our online gallery to view all of the MSAA Art Showcase submissions.

November 2013 Artist of the Month:
Julie Crow – Damascus, VA

Jack - Baby boy - artwork by Julie Crow

From the Artist:
“After a couple of really bad falls from lack of balance and coordination, resulting in hip pins and a broken pelvic bone, my companion, Gino, an accomplished oil painter, brought some pastel pencils and a drawing pad to the hospital for me to have something to focus all of my energy on while I was immobilized. In the hospital and inpatient rehab, I drew pictures of friend’s pets and relatives. The baby is a friend’s first grandson, and I drew this from a photo taken at the beach. She was always there for me during the hard times. I have also drawn a few others for folks to show my appreciation for their time and their love. I’ve created a Circle of Hope link with MSAA…the amazing thing is that I’ve never painted or drawn. I truly could not draw a stick man before this last incident. I haven’t lately due to some problems, but am hopeful for tomorrow.”

Read more

Be inspired – please send an online card featuring artwork by MS artist Julie Crow and spread awareness of MS and MSAA.

Calling All Artists with MS:
It’s that time of year – MSAA is now accepting submissions for our 2014 Art Showcase! If you haven’t already done so, submit your best artwork by December 16th 2013 for a chance to be a part of next year’s Art Showcase.

Submit your artwork for the 2014 MSAA Art Showcase.

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Planning for the Future: Long-Term Care and Advance Directives

Recently I attended a training regarding long-term care planning that really got me thinking about what I could be doing now that may help my family and me in the future.  For many, this is a difficult topic to think about.  No one wants to plan their end-of-life care, or make arrangements for a nursing home when they are relatively young and relatively healthy.  But the reality is, we do not have a crystal ball, and we cannot predict the future.

According to the presentation, approximately 70% of Americans eventually require some form of long-term care.  With the cost of some facilities ranging from $5000 to $10,000 a month, the idea of self-pay is extremely unrealistic.  Currently, Medicare does not provide long-term care insurance that would provide the additional support for care facilities.  So unless you have a private long-term care insurance plan, or can meet the income guideline for Medicaid, you are stuck paying out-of-pocket for care.  With that being said, it is important to look into long-term care insurance plans early on to hopefully purchase a plan with a decent rate.

Another important tip presented was about having the discussions with your loved ones and family members regarding end-of-life decisions.  This can be a very challenging conversation to have; death and dying are often difficult subjects.  But less than 20% of Americans have an Advanced Directive or a living will.  For the 80% that do not, I am sure a large portion of them have never discussed their wishes with a family member.  Without an Advance Directive, doctors, nurses, and EMT’s will continue to provide life supporting help to prolong your life.  By creating an Advance Directive and creating an end-of-life plan, you are ensuring that your wishes will be followed.

In order to complete an Advance Directive, you must be 18 years of age and of sound mind.  The document must be in writing and signed by two adult witnesses.  It is suggested that you provide a copy of the Advance Directive to your doctor or care facility and provide a copy to a trusting family member.  It was suggested that Advance Directives and other important information should not be kept in a lock box, rather, a storage cabinet along with other documents that may need to be accessed by family members.

This training was an eye opener for me and as if I wasn’t already a neurotic “what if” planner, provided some valuable information.  I wanted to share some of the things I learned in this blog, with hopes to spread the word along to others.

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How does MSAA improve lives for the multiple sclerosis community?

Last week, we shared an infographic with our supporters showing just a few of the ways MSAA improves lives for the multiple sclerosis community. Today, we wanted to post that infographic again in case you missed it.

But we wanted to start by posing a question: What, exactly, is a “good” charity?* 

There has been a lot of talk recently about good charities and bad charities. News reports have focused on charities that do little, if anything, to help alleviate social issues…and on companies who profit from the increasing need for funding to ensure missions are fulfilled. The nonprofit world is buzzing with words like “expensive ratios,” “ratings,” and “overhead.” The result: We are now taking a new look at what being a good charity really means.

How does MSAA improve lives?

                    How can your donation improve a life today?

As an organization, MSAA welcomes this conversation. We believe in using our resources efficiently to best serve the needs of the MS community. We have worked hard over the years to streamline our processes and improve our program delivery.

In addition to the wealth of information and support MSAA provides, for those who would be unable to afford equipment or MRI scans on their own, MSAA’s programs make a tangible difference in day-to-day quality of life. This is attested to time and time again in the unsolicited tesmionials of our clients.

*Excerpt from “Thoughts about Giving” in MSAA’s magazine The Motivator (Summer/Fall 2013)

Also made possible through the help of our supporters…

1,040,554 visits for vital information through our website

About 215,000 MSAA publications distributed to provide information and support

66,596 views of our 36 on-demand video programs

7,174 new downloads for MSAA’s smartphone app, “My MS Manager”

Donate now and improve a life today. 

You, too, can improve a life today.

“Thank you so much for getting back to me so soon! After over two years of waiting and being passed off [by other organizations], my MRI is scheduled for a couple of hours from now! Thank you!” – Jordan R. from Colorado. 

Improve a life today for someone like Jordan. 

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is a leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. 

Improving Lives Today!


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