About MSAA

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website, featuring educational videos, webinars, and research updates; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; safety and mobility equipment products; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; MRI funding; My MSAA Community, a peer-to-peer online support forum; MS Conversations blog; a clinical trial search tool; podcasts; and more. For additional information, please visit www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

Nancy Garcia – June 2024 Artist of the Month

MSAA features the work of many talented artists affected by multiple sclerosis as part of our annual MSAA Art Showcase. Each month we share these artists’ inspiring stories and beautiful artwork with you as our Artist of the Month. This month, we celebrate Nancy Garcia as June’s Artist of the Month. Nancy is from Chicago Heights, IL.

Continue reading
Share Button

Navigating Life with MS without My Mother

By: Stacie Prada

This is my truth. If my mom hadn’t died when she did, she would have been a comfort and helper when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and felt so alone. She would have made a difference in millions of ways, but I’ll focus here on how being motherless relates to my MS. 

I was diagnosed 15 years after my mom died.  In hindsight, I’m certain that following her death I had an MS exacerbation characterized by extreme fatigue, depression, and surprising clumsiness. At the age of 23, I was executrix for her estate. It was a monumental responsibility organizing her funeral, managing her finances and legal affairs, selling her home, and dealing with everything a life suddenly cut short entails. 

Continue reading
Share Button

Karen Bloom – May 2024 Artist of the Month

MSAA features the work of many talented artists affected by multiple sclerosis as part of our annual MSAA Art Showcase. Each month we share these artists’ inspiring stories and beautiful artwork with you as our Artist of the Month. This month, we celebrate Karen Bloom as May’s Artist of the Month. Karen is from Kendallville, IN.

Continue reading
Share Button

Ask the Expert – Fatigue

Featuring Barry A. Hendin, MD 

MSAA’s Chief Medical Officer  

Headshot of doctor Barry Hendin, chief medical officer for MSAA
Barry Hendin, MD

Question: What symptom affects up to 80% of people with MS and can worsen as the day goes on?

Answer: Fatigue.

Question: What are your recommendations for people with MS who are experiencing fatigue?

Answer: Fatigue is the most common symptom of multiple sclerosis. Although fatigue occurs in the general population, it’s more common and often more problematic in people with multiple sclerosis. The first approach should be to investigate the cause of fatigue with your clinician or neurologist. When MS is the only cause for the fatigue, it is labeled primary fatigue.

Continue reading
Share Button

Including Stillness as a Fitness Goal

By: Stacie Prada

April is National Stress Awareness Month, and it’s a perfect reminder for me to check in with my stress level.  It’s an extra busy month for me each year meeting professional and personal commitments while accommodating my health needs.

I recently did a 15-minute High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout, and I followed it with a guided meditation of the same duration.  When I found myself needing more willpower to stay engaged during the meditation portion than I needed during the high-exertion portion, it occurred to me I really needed to work on calming my mind more. 

Continue reading
Share Button

Stress & MS

By: Brittany Quiroz, “A Hot MS”

I have sort of programmed myself to have a respect for the natural order of things in life. I’m one of the believers that everything happens for a reason. We are given life, and we do our best to milk every second out of it. Obstacles are inevitable. It’s a natural part of the cycle of our time here on earth. I can’t help but think that my difficult walk-through life with obstacles far from the norm contributed to my diagnosis with multiple sclerosis. 

There’s so much scientific backing to show how when our body goes into a fight or flight response, that it has a substantial effect on our nervous system. When we continue to put our bodies into that sort of space, eventually it can take a medical toll on our bodies. 

Continue reading
Share Button

Hope Angel – April 2024 Artist of the Month

MSAA features the work of many talented artists affected by multiple sclerosis as part of our annual MSAA Art Showcase. Each month we share these artists’ inspiring stories and beautiful artwork with you as our Artist of the Month. This month, we celebrate Hope Angel as April’s Artist of the Month. Hope is from Seattle, WA.

Continue reading
Share Button

What My MS Diagnosis Taught Me

By: Stacie Prada

My multiple sclerosis diagnosis was sudden and unexpected. Unlike others who undergo years of testing, monitoring, and uncertainty, my diagnosis occurred within two months after a major MS exacerbation. While it was a turbulent and scary experience, at least it was relatively quick.

Because my diagnosis was swift and not anticipated, I learned serious illness can be invisible. Being healthy and having a chronic illness can both be true in the same body. Things are not what they appear. Ultimately, I learned my normal wasn’t normal.

Continue reading
Share Button

Helpful Strategies Available Through MSAA’s Podcast Series

With MSAA’s 2024 MS Awareness Month campaign theme of “Improving Lives Through Supportive Connections,” we are proud to have introduced various initiatives throughout the month of March focused on the power of social interactions and connections, mental health and emotional support, as well as tools that may assist in the quality of life for those with MS. One of the free educational and supportive services that we introduced this month was our podcast mini-series titled “Finding Joy in the Process: Managing Mental Health in the MS Journey.”  

This three-episode series, featuring behavioral medicine specialist Dr. Amy Sullivan, brings light to the importance of prioritizing health and wellness throughout the MS experience and journey by offering insightful tips, resources, and more. 

Continue reading
Share Button

MS & Acceptance

By: Brittany Quiroz, “A Hot MS”

How do we really come to terms with accepting our new reality with an incurable progressive disability? Right off the bat we probably feel like we have been predisposed to failure. Self-acceptance requires us to really be comfortable with our present situation and let’s face it, there are plenty of parts about living with Multiple Sclerosis that are not considered “comfortable”. MS can present an abundance of changes and unexpected whiplash that we do our best to navigate through. 

The key to sustainable self-acceptance relies on our ability to stay present while not setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves. We can be really good at beating ourselves up, can’t we? It doesn’t help that we live in an era where competition is all around us. Our status in society can easily be determined based on how many likes we get. How many followers we have. What car we drive. What our zip code is. What job we have. It’s easy to feel we’re in constant competition with the world. 

Continue reading
Share Button