This month, people across the country are wearing orange to support multiple sclerosis, better known as MS. It’s a disease affecting nearly 1 in every 1,000 Americans.
The unique thing about MS is that each person affected may have different symptoms.
That’s why the MS Foundation created a month just for education and awareness and this year marks the 13th year.
“It’s a very unpredictable disease and from one patient from the next it can be extremely different. One minute I can lose sight of my right eye and the next moment I can be fine,” say Brian Moore-Ward, a man living with MS.
His description — typical for someone with MS — constant inconsistencies.
“It affects your central nervous system, it’s comprised of your brain, your spinal cord, and your optic nerves, so the symptoms can really vary,” says MS-certified nurse, Rachel Stacom.
Those symptoms are felt from head to toe — often making it difficult for people to do nearly anything.
“Sometimes, sensory symptoms like numbness or tingling, sometimes people can lose their balance or can have some weakness in some muscles,” Rachel says.
After the MS foundations’ first official campaign in March 2003, support has grown. Now, a hashtag “#MySupportHero” is a campaign where those affected by MS can give thanks for those supporting them – through the ups and downs.
“So, because it’s so unpredictable, it can cause a lot of stress and depression, so having a support partner with you that’s helping you or a caregiver it really helps you get through the disease,” says Moore-Ward.
News 11’s Max Tarlton will have a full report tonight on News 11’s Evening Edition at 6:00 p.m. PST