Upcoming forum offers MS support

The MS Society has an education and outreach event on Oct. 1 at the Hope recreation centre.

The MS Society is hosting an education and outreach forum on Oct. 1 at the Hope recreation centre.

Participants can book a private appointment with a community services coordinator who can provide counselling, advocacy, multiple sclerosis (MS) information, or help with navigating the health care system.

“We’re just trying to extend our reach and make sure that people in the Hope area know they are not alone in their challenge against MS,” said Jacqueline Hunter, one of the event coordinators with the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley MS Society chapters. “There’s a lot more awareness about MS then there was say 20 years ago and it’s also been made more increasingly livable.”

MS is considered to be an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord) that attacks myelin, the protective covering of the nerves.

MS can cause symptoms such as extreme fatigue, lack of coordination, weakness, tingling, impaired sensation, vision problems, bladder problems, cognitive impairment and mood changes. It can occur at any age, but is usually diagnosed between the ages of 15 to 40.

An estimated 100,000 Canadians are living with MS and while there’s no cure, researchers are learning more about what causes MS and are zeroing in on ways to prevent it.

The MS Society offers self-help groups and a peer support program throughout the Fraser Valley.

Private appointments for the upcoming forum are available from 1-5 p.m. Organizers are also planning a light dinner and educational presentation between 5-7 p.m.

To register or book an appointment, call 1-800-268-7582 or register online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/7CSZ89N