About MSAA

As a national nonprofit organization, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is a leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a toll-free Helpline; award-winning publications including a magazine, The Motivator; website featuring educational videos and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.™ program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; a resource database, My MS Resource Locator; equipment distribution ranging from grab bars to wheelchairs; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; educational events and activities; MRI funding and insurance advocacy; and more. For additional information, please visit http://www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

10 Tips to Help You Keep Cool This Summer

The official start of the summer is a little more than a week away. ‘Tis the “sea-sun” for beach trips, vacations, cookouts, visits to the pool and more! While the summer can be an exciting time, for people with multiple sclerosis, the stress of heat-sensitivity can make fun activities a challenge. We’re here to offer some tips on how to stay cool all summer long so you can enjoy your time with friends and family in the sun!

  1. Stay hydrated! Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration.
  2. Wear loose-fitting, cotton clothing. Avoid dark colors if possible that can attract more heat.
  3. Take a cool bath or shower.
  4. Do indoor activities during the hottest part of the day – take a trip to the movies, stroll around the mall, go to a museum, or any other local spots with air conditioning.
  5. Carry a portable, battery-powered fan to outdoor events.
  6. Close the blinds and shades on windows facing the sun to keep out the sun’s heat – this will also help fans and air conditioners cool more efficiently.
  7. Dryers, dishwashers, and ovens produce a lot of heat – try to use them in the early morning and late evening if possible.
  8. Wear a hat when you’re outdoors to help better shield your face from the sun. Make sure to wear your sunglasses, too!
  9. Always wear sunscreen, even if you’re only outside for a short period of time! Avoiding an uncomfortable sunburn that can increase your body temperature is important during the hotter months.
  10. Popsicles, ice cream, and frozen yogurt are tasty treats that can also help you cool down, and a great excuse to sneak in a summer snack here and there!
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MSAA’s Art Showcase – Celebrating the Work of Artists Living with MS

This month, we asked our guest bloggers to share about the artists or artwork they feel speak to their own personal experiences. MSAA has long celebrated artists in the MS community through our Art Showcase initiative. This year, MSAA is recognizing ten years of beautiful artwork shared with us from members of the MS community!

Started in 2009, the MSAA Art Showcases are comprised of two categories: the MS Ability Art Showcase and the Four Seasons Art Showcase. Artists with a diagnosis of MS are invited each Fall to submit their best oil, watercolor, acrylic or Continue reading

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Music Gets Me Through: Shaping My Outlook with Intention

By Stacie Prada

The artistry of words inspires me greatly. The ability to express ideas and emotions critically with nuance and creativity moves me to feel deeply. Add rhythm and melody to the poetry of song lyrics, and it becomes something I can use for managing my well-being.

Music is especially useful for coping with any challenge, because it has the ability to replace the thoughts going through my head. If I can recognize when looping thoughts are taking over my mind and mood, I can change my attitude and outlook with music.

Artistry that speaks to me changes Continue reading

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Planning for Your Financial Future

Planning for Your Financial Future from The MotivatorWe at MSAA are proud to introduce the latest edition of The Motivator, which is available now in both print and digital editions! This edition’s cover story is “Planning for Your Future.” This story defines the legal and financial decisions and documents you may need to consider when planning for your financial future, particularly if you are living with a chronic condition.

Read an excerpt from the cover story here: Continue reading

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Individuals Inculcating Inspiration

By Scott Cremeans

Someone recently told me that I was an inspiration to them, but I do not feel like an inspiration. This person explained to me that I have a great attitude. They shared that I have an excellent positive disposition despite the numerous adversities that were placed in my path. They do not realize that my life is not pansies and puppies especially when dealing with my MS. These compliments make me think that the definition of inspiration might be nebulous. The following stories tell the tales of those who are inspirational individuals to me. Continue reading

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My Mother’s Advice on MS Diagnosis… from Heaven

By Alene Brennan

Today marks the third year of my mother’s passing after a 10-year battle with cancer.

Just six weeks after she passed, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

It was hard enough to grieve the loss of her absence in my daily life. But now having my own diagnosis to process, I needed her more than ever.

I was scared.

I was angry.

I was overwhelmed.

And she was my person.

She always Continue reading

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Most Influential Who?

By Lauren Kovacs

I have been fortunate to have several influential people through my MS journey. I reflect on them based on the struggle of the moment. Every moment with MS changes. Thus, influence changes.

I look to my mom who was a military wife for years. She carted four small kids all over to globe to meet my dad at his new duty station. I reflect on her when I combat new MS monsters. Fear of the unknown is not going to get me.

I look to a gymnastics coach I once Continue reading

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My Mother’s Lasting Influence

By Stacie Prada

As a young child wrapped in my mother’s arms, I’d hear her ask me, “What am I going to do with you?”

I’d answer in tempo with the script we’d created, “Hug me, and kiss me, and love me forever.” She’d squeeze me harder while kissing the top of my head, and I knew she would.

She died suddenly at the age of 47, and she never knew I had multiple sclerosis. This was 15 years before I was diagnosed with MS, yet she’s been a constant companion as I’ve navigated my life in general and the challenges I face living with MS.

Throughout the past 25 years, Continue reading

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Meet the Board

MSAA strives to be a leading resource for the MS community by improving lives today through vital services and support – and we could not accomplish this without the help of our volunteer board members. MSAA’s Board of Directors is comprised of accomplished professionals from across the country who volunteer their time to further MSAA’s mission. With our ongoing series, Meet the Board, we hope to introduce you to our wonderful volunteer board members!

This month, MSAA is proud to highlight our newest board member Alexandra von Plato. Continue reading

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Chaos Cannot Win

By Scott Cremeans

Staying organized in life is very important. It is beneficial to keep all of your doodads and doohickeys diligently divided so that you can reach them in an instant. The smart choice is to keep your selection of widgets neatly stacked for your convenience. It is essential to keep your entire calendar of events prominently posted for your perfunctory perusal.

As a person with multiple sclerosis, Continue reading

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