Women Against MS Luncheon
April 29, 2009
Put it on your calendar!
We have secured our date and location for our 2009 WAMS luncheon. It will be held Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at the brand new Monte Lucia Resort and Spa (Tatum and Lincoln) Our speaker is Martha Madison, an actress from Days of Our Lives (Belle Black Brady). Her mother has MS. We are expecting 600 attendees.
Looking Back at Women Against MS Luncheon
An afternoon of inspiration, motivation and empowerment as we move towards a world free of MS Wednesday, April 23, 2008 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa
Event Chair: Terry Ashoff Johnson
About the Luncheon
The National MS Society, Arizona Chapter and other outstanding women for an afternoon of inspiration, motivation and empowerment move towards a world free of MS. They share the joys of a fine lunch while watching an inspirational program emceed by Tara Hitchcock of "Good Morning Arizona" and with featured keynote speaker Kristie Salerno Kent. Guests also bought tickets for a live raffle held during the program for a wide variety of exciting prizes.
Clip of Kristie singing
Get Involved Your involvement can make all the difference. Please join us for an upcoming event.
MS 2008: Maximizing Care Strategies A multidisciplinary continuing medical education conference Saturday, May 3, 2008 Hyatt Regency Phoenix http://nationalMSsociety.org/MS2008
Corks and Chords 2008 An evening of wine and music to end MS Saturday, September 13, 2008 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Mayo Clinic Scottsdale http://nationalMSsociety.org/corks2008
WalkMS: Prescott Walk on the Wild Side Saturday, October 18, 2008 7 :00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m Heritage Park Zoo in Prescott
WalkMS: Phoenix Walk on the Wild Side Saturday, November 8, 2008 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.SRP's Headquarters in Phoenix http://walkaza.nationalMSsociety.org
Bike MS: Round Up Ride 2009 March 28 & 29, 2009 Heritage Park in Florence, Arizona http://bikeaza.nationalMSsociety.org
For more information about the National MS Society, Arizona Chapter, please vIsit www.aza.nationalMSsociety.org or call us at 1-800-344-4867.
all photos by LeeAnn Sharpe
Women Against MS
By LeeAnn Sharpe
An invitation to attend the Women Against MS luncheon at the Arizona Biltmore on Wednesday, April 23, 2008, filled an otherwise dull day with an opportunity to learn about Multiple Sclerosis and what progress has been made toward a cure or treatment. Even though I have a sister-in-law in California with this disease, I really knew very little about MS.
The brochure said, “An afternoon of inspiration, motivation and empowerment as we move towards a world free of MS.” Can the world be free of MS?
The first thing I learned about MS is that two thirds of it’s victims are women. And most look like the picture of health. Very few used canes or walkers or wheelchairs. But the terrible affects of the disease are still there and often make life very difficult.
Multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information from the brain to the body and stops people from moving. Featured keynote speaker Kristie Salerno Kent spoke of her experiences and how it’s hard for people to understand she has MS because she looks outwardly unaffected. She often hears, “You have MS? But you look so good.” Yet, it’s difficult to walk, she suffers pain, vision problems, and physical exhaustion is a constant problem.
A few years after Kristie received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She woke up one day unable to move her legs. It was a terrifying experience and with medication and therapy she can now walk. She decided that she was not going to give up her dreams of performing just because of her MS diagnosis. Kristie took on the role of an MS Lifelines Ambassador and travels the country speaking and singing for others who are affected by the disease. Now her performances are for a purpose and not just entertainment.
As a songwriter, Kristie writes from her
own experiences and many of her songs were created from pages of
her personal journal. Kristie's debut solo CD, "Believe" is a
heartfelt testimony of her determination to succeed despite
adversity. Her powerful and richly textured voice combined with
her honest lyrics and memorable melodies make you BELIEVE that
anything is possible.
You can watch "The Show Must Go On", a short video created by Kristie about her experience with MS. This video was one of six nationwide to be featured in the National MS Society Moving Forward Film Festival. It is available on You Tube.
At my luncheon table, Sandra Behlkea, a nurse, has a son-in-law with MS. She wrote a cookbook to help non-profits raise funds though its sale. Her son-in-law is now symptom free, the result of medication, diet and exercise. This is a common thread I hear over and over again. Still there is no cure for MS.
Dr. Dean Wingerchuk, MD an Associate
Professor of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
spoke to the group of several hundred women gathered this
beautiful day. He made the point almost everyone knows someone
with MS, even though they may not realize it. In the research of
MS, two key areas of focus are the genetic aspect, which has
identified two key genes linked to the disease. This is a big
step forward toward learning why people get MS. Another is the
of Vitamin D. Even here in Arizona, where we have so much
sunshine, we block the sun and our access to the sun's vitamin D
that contribute to MS. He felt the next
ten years of research will lead to greater understanding. Right
now the medications for treatment of MS have progressed
tremendously in the last fifteen years. Research in MS is
progressing at a remarkable rate, with more potential therapies
in the pipeline than at any other time in history. This is all
the result of research funded by the National MS Society.
Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with more than twice as many women as men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S., and 2.5 million worldwide.
Last year the Women Against MS luncheon raised nearly $70,000 to provide programs for people living with MS and fund research towards the cure and treatment of this chronic disease of the central nervous system. This year they certainly surpassed that figure… reports yet to come. There is no cure. Maybe someday.
Hundreds of Arizona Women Rally Together to Raise Funds for MS
Luncheon Provides Hope and Support to Women Affected by Multiple Sclerosis
(PHOENIX) March 1, 2008: The Arizona Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is hosting its third annual Women Against MS luncheon on Wednesday, April 23, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa. Guests will share the joys of a fine lunch while watching an inspirational program emceed by Tara Hitchcock of “Good Morning Arizona”, and featuring keynote speaker Kristie Salerno Kent. Kent will speak to the hundreds of guests about her life with MS. She was diagnosed with MS in 1999, and after several years of denial, she decided that the word dreams may end with an M and an S but her dreams don't end because of her MS. She is now a singer/songwriter/producer and the CEO of her own production company. Her music is a heartfelt testimony of her determination to succeed despite adversity.
The Women Against MS luncheon creates a motivational and empowering environment for people to gather, learn about MS, and raise funds for the National MS Society. A live drawing will allow attendees to purchase tickets for their chance to win one of five prize packages, each valued at over $500.
While men are certainly welcome to attend, it is women who founded this important event and who inspire each other to move it forward. Two thirds of the people living with MS are women, and women often are the care providers for everyone else. Last year the Women Against MS luncheon raised nearly $70,000 to provide programs for people living with MS and fund research towards the cure and treatment of this chronic disease of the central nervous system.
Sponsorships, tables of 10 for families or corporations and individual tickets for the event are available for purchase, a portion of which is tax-deductible. To buy tickets or for more information, visit http://nationalMSsociety.org/azwams2008 or call the Arizona Chapter at 480-968-2488, option 2.
About Multiple Sclerosis Multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information from the brain to the body and stops people from moving. Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with more than twice as many women as men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S., and 2.5 million worldwide.
About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn’t. We help each person address the challenges of living with MS through our 50 state network of chapters. We fund more MS research, provide more services to people with MS, offer more professional education and further more advocacy efforts than any other MS organization in the world. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. We are people who want to do something about MS now. Join the movement at http://nationalmssociety.org.
Studies show that early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can reduce future disease activity and improve quality of life for many people with multiple sclerosis. Talk to your health care professional and contact the National MS Society at http://nationalmssociety.org or 1-800-FIGHT-MS to learn about ways to help manage multiple sclerosis and about current research that may one day reveal a cure.