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.

It’s crazy getting exhausted just going to the mailbox

Mailbox during the summer heat - Penelope ConwayBy Penelope Conway

Summer used to be my favorite time of year. A time to spend in the sun, taking a trip to the beach, going fishing at the local fishing hole, spending time swimming at the lake, enjoying concerts in the park, and so many other activities that just pop up and sound fun to do. For me, those things are no longer something I look forward to being a part of. My summer has become one more of staying inside with the air conditioner blasting and me hoping for cool days to come soon.

My multiple sclerosis body has a Continue reading

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Summer Jumble

By Doug Ankerman

You made it!  You are halfway through summer without a hitch.  Okay well, beside searing your thighs on the hot lawn chair, you made it.

Here are a few pointers to get your through the rest of the season…

Hit The Floor

Doug summer blog On the Floor

You don’t need a gym membership to exercise.  Just get down on the floor (carpeted, by the way).  Roll around.  Lift your legs.  Flail your arms.  Sit up.  Twist side to side.  Push yourself up, over and get back down again.  How you move doesn’t matter—just move!  You’ll give yourself the perfect Continue reading

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Stories to Inspire: Team Strong Girls Swim Challenge

During some of the hottest days of the year, one of the best ways to cool down (and support MSAA at the same time) is to participate in our Swim for MS initiative! Swim for MS is a do-it-yourself fundraiser where you create your own individual or group swim challenge and recruit donations to support the MS community. Past participants have created cannonball jumping contests, backyard pool parties, stand-up paddleboard contests, and more to raise funds for MSAA’s free programs and services.

Team Strong Girls Swim, made up of mother and daughter duo, Sara and Anabella, decided that they Continue reading

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With great power comes great responsibility…

By Scott Cremeans

I slept horribly the other night and decided to sleep in because a tired brain is a dysfunctional brain. I had nothing planned that next day to wake up early for and realized that this would be a great day to be lazy. I am not sure what caused my unrest though I lay all night with busy mind syndrome. Sadly the chaos that was to ensue would not allow the extra slumber that I so wanted. This terrible technological turmoil would not allow the excess rest to calm my brain that I desperately desired. Continue reading

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How I Stay Cool in the Summer

By Alene Brennan

I used to love summer.

As a Jersey girl, I spent my summers “down the shore.”

But since my MS diagnosis the warmth of the sun is something I avoid… and straight up fear somedays.

I also hate the heat that summer temps bring to my workouts. I get so easily overheated. My danger zone is when it’s hot enough to raise my internal body temperature but not hot enough for me to break a sweat.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that I can exercise as it’s something that brings me Continue reading

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For the Love of Biking – It Really Can Be for Everyone

By Stacie Prada

In a conversation with coworkers years ago, one person reflected on his summers spent in their backyard pool in California.  I responded with excitement and jealousy that he had his own pool when all I had was a bike!  Another coworker who grew up in Hong Kong, exclaimed with awe, “You had a bike?!?”

Wow.  I laughed at my own ignorance to my privilege.  To think she grew up in a large city and didn’t have a bike at all made me realize just how special it was Continue reading

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Summer Hostage

By Lauren Kovacs

Let me see, MS has pretty much taken summer hostage for many MSers.  Some things we can in fact re-claim, with modifications.  We have to learn to put our own spin on things.

Plan, plan, plan. You kind of have to go into a situation knowing all your options and the “what if.”  The “Last-minute Lucy” folks won’t like this.  Know your own body.

With three Boy Scouts at home, the moto of “Always Be Prepared” rings true for most MS folks.  Remember the heat is usually not our friend. Summer means heat.  Heat means Continue reading

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Back in Action – Mike, Catherine, and the Ride to Montauk

Last September, Mike Zimits and Catherine Tsigakos got back on their bicycles for the first time in years and rode through Long Island to the famous Montauk Lighthouse with Team MSAA. This September, they’ll be doing it again! How did Mike and Catherine become such fierce MSAA supporters?

Mike Zimits was diagnosed with MS in 1998 – up until his diagnosis, Mike was leading what he describes as an “unhealthy lifestyle.” To get back in shape, he took up cycling. Ten years prior to Mike’s diagnosis, Catherine’s brother Peter, a close friend of Mike, was also diagnosed with MS Continue reading

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Art Showcase Spotlight – David Desjardins

Did you catch our blog feature last week about the tenth anniversary of MSAA’s Art Showcase? Over the years, we’ve been lucky enough to feature hundreds of artists through this initiative! On top of serving as inspiration to many who visit our website and social media pages, the Showcase has also been a source of inspiration for members of the MS community who may have previously thought their diagnosis would hinder their creative abilities.

Painters like David Desjardins, a participant in the Showcase since 2013, view their condition as an artistic advantage. “I find Continue reading

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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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