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Friday, April 19, 2013

Many myths surrounding multiple sclerosis today


Thursday, April 18, 2013 
Recently, there have been stories in the Herald and News and on KOBI 5 about multiple sclerosis. The story on KOBI 5 stated the young woman’s life “may still be cut short” due to a recent diagnosis of MS.
I am one of many people in our community who fight this disease every day of my life, and I was angered by this statement. It is untrue, and exactly the kind of statement that perpetuates the myths surrounding MS.
The fact is, MS is not a fatal disease, and although complications of the disease can and do occur, the average life expectancy for a person with MS is about the same as it is for someone without MS. The fact that such a thing was said shows that no research was done and no attempt was made to understand MS or its effects. I feel that was an injustice to all of us whose lives have been touched by MS. I wrote KOBI 5 to express my feelings and provide them with links to information about MS, only to receive no response.
Educating people about MS is so important, as there are many people in our community affected by it. These stories could’ve been a great starting point for education, especially given that a Walk MS event is taking place at 9 a.m., with the opening ceremony at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 20 at 210 W. Second St. in Merrill. If anyone wants to walk who isn’t yet registered, registration will open at 8 a.m. Anyone interested can go to walkms.org to learn more.
How about using this opportunity to spread some awareness of the disease? And just as importantly, how about we demand that we get good, accurate information in our news? People count on that and they deserve that much.

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1 comment:

Cherie said...

It is just this sort of uninformed comment that perpetuates the myth that MS is a "death sentence" or a life of disability. That may have been true 30-50 years ago but is not today with all of the treatments we now have to stop MS in its tracks and allow the disease to not progress further. This is just plain sensationalized reporting with little fact to back it up!