Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the world. MS is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system comprising the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerve. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40, and the unpredictable effects of MS last for the rest of their lives.
When we first learned about the statistics around MS diagnosis and symptoms in Canada, we were floored.
As students and professionals in the field of Massage Therapy, we understand – often first hand – the range of effects that multiple sclerosis can have on a body. As many already know, WCCMT has a student clinic where current students, on their way to become registered massage therapists, do a practicum and participate in out-reach and in-reach programs. Part of this in-reach program at the college is designed specifically for patients with MS, in order to help alleviate discomfort for MS patients and for WCCMT students to learn what is best for clients with varying degrees of movement and mobility.
What we didn’t know is how prevalent this disease is in Canada. MS is a disease that affects not only individuals, but also families who come together to manage the realities of day-to-day life.
This year, the Scotiabank MS Bike Langley – Fraser Valley Grape Escape will take place on Saturday, June 11, 2016 and Sunday, June 12, 2016. WCCMT will have a team out biking again this year. Funds raised at the MS Bike are dedicated to supporting groundbreaking, Canadian-led research into the cause and cure for MS, as well as helping Canadians with MS live better in the meantime.
We at WCCMT believe that it is all of our responsibilities to do what we can to work towards the management and elimination of MS. Flee or Fight is an ongoing campaign to raise MS awareness. Visit the website to learn what you can do to help.
The MS Society raises funds to support research and services through individual and corporate donations and fundraising events across the country. MS Walk and MS Bike are the signature events held nationwide each year, with various smaller events held at the Division and Chapter levels. To find out more, visit the MS Society of Canada website and msbike.ca.