Sunday, April 12, 2015

LA artist raises awareness about MS through gorgeous mural

I recently came across this CBS report that highlights LA artist Lydia Emily. Lydia created this amazing mural in downtown LA, hoping to spread awareness about living with Multiple Sclerosis.

Have a watch and be prepared to be inspired!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

You’re invited to share your MS inspired tattoo with Healthline.com

Getting inked can be a powerful reminder that you are stronger than your MS, and a great way to raise awareness. While I don’t have a tattoo myself (reason being is that I cannot decide for the life of me what to ink myself with – I am forever contemplating the perfect design), I think what our friends over at Healthline are doing is pretty cool. They are hosting the “My MS tattoo” campaign and are looking for tattoos inspired by your fight with MS.


Here’s how to participate:
  • Send a clear photo of your tattoo (at least 285x285 in .jpg or .png format) to nlascurain@healthline.com with the subject line “My MS tattoo” by April 17, 2015
  • In 90 words or less, describe the inspiration behind your tattoo
  • Please identify if you'd like your name published or not
  • Healthline will then publish them and share with their Facebook community

When describing the inspiration behind your tattoo, think about these questions: What does it mean to you? Why did you decide to get the tattoo? Was there anything special that motivated the design?

Have fun and I look forward to seeing your MS inspired tattoos out on Healthline.com. Perhaps seeing yours will inspire me to finally decide on what my tattoo should look like! 

Take care,

Christie

P.S. check out these tattoos, inspired by MSers journey and fight against Multiple Sclerosis: 


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Call your neurologist on Monday morning and ask for guidance on Vitamin D

There was a common theme at a couple of events I attended recently yet what I heard was nothing new to us, especially if you are reading the news, set up on Google Alerts for Multiple Sclerosis, and hanging out in social media chat rooms. What’s the advice from our favorite neurologists, professors, nurses, MSers, and friends of the MS community?

If you live with MS and are not already taking the "sunshine vitamin", call your neurologist on Monday morning and ask for guidance on Vitamin D.

The benefits of the sunshine vitamin have been talked about for a while and if you cannot relocate to sunny San Diego to absorb more sun rays, it is certainly worthwhile having a conversation with your neurologist about how much Vitamin D to take. Me? I take 50,000 U every week, as prescribed by my awesome neurologist. He monitors me closely and we talk about Vitamin D each time we visit together.

If you cannot relocate to sunny San Diego to
absorb more sun rays, call your neurologist
to talk about the "sunshine vitamin"
More and more research is pointing to the fact that low levels of Vitamin D in our blood is a risk factor for developing MS. Conversely, studies show that in MSers, high levels of Vitamin D may be linked to lower chances of attacks and less severe disability[i]. This sounds amazing to me!

Additionally, it has been suggested that Vitamin D deficiency may impact bone health, as MSers are more prone to osteoporosis. Another concern? MS associated weakness may be associated with low levels of Vitamin D. Also, there’s some talk that low levels of Vitamin D could worsen MS disease process.

I got these bits of info from the “Vitamin D and MS: Implications for Clinical Practice bulletin put out by Allen C. Bowling, MD, PhD via the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS). Have a read as it contains great info about Vitamin D deficiency, the effects on MS, costs associated with the “sunshine vitamin”, and what to do in clinical practice.

This all being said, incorporating Vitamin D into your life is certainly worth exploring.

5 easy steps to take when considering Vitamin D:
  1. Call your neurologist on Monday morning to set up an appointment
  2. Read the bulletin about Vitamin D and MS (here) - empower yourself with knowledge
  3. Get your blood levels of Vitamin D checked with your neurologist
  4. The blood tests and Vitamin D prescription should be covered by insurance yet it’s worthwhile calling your provider to ensure coverage
  5. Once on a Vitamin D regimen, monitor, monitor, monitor by working closely with your neurologist. She/he will evaluate your blood levels and give guidance on how much Vitamin D to take

Of course, everyone’s case of MS is different so it is very important that you have discussions with your neurologist about how best to incorporate (or not) Vitamin D into your lifestyle. We know more studies are required to truly understand the fact-based benefits of Vitamin D and several researchers, doctors, et al are seriously committed to analyzing this relationship between the “sunshine vitamin” and Multiple Sclerosis.

I hope this post helps you in your journey.

Take care,

Christie


[i] Allen C. Bowling, MD, PhD , “Vitamin D and MS: Implications for Clinical Practice”, Clinical Bulletin via National MS Society

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Now you can have a gorgeous cane and support Multiple Sclerosis awareness!

"Canes for a Cure" from Top and Derby
My friends over at Top and Derby have done it again. They’ve gone ahead and made another gorgeous, design inspired cane. This one is truly special because it is a limited edition Chatfield cane featuring the color of Multiple Sclerosis – Pantone 158 (or, in other words, MS orange!), just in time for the kick off of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month that began today. Know what’s even better? These are “canes for a cure” as proceeds from each sale will be supporting research and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis.

These guys are awesome. I just love ‘em.

Here’s the deal with the canes and the launch:
  • Only 200 were made. The Limited Edition Chatfield cane features MS orange (Pantone 158) with custom packaging and laser engraving. The same comfort, stability, and design of the original Chatfield still applies! 
  • Buying the limited edition cane supports their “enable” mission promoting “canes for a cure” as the tag-line in an effort to raise money for MS awareness and research. Proceeds from the sale of each cane will go directly to the MS societies in Canada and the US. Top and Derby already issued a press release covering this (here) and have really stepped up in this awareness campaign.

Let’s come together to get the media talking about Multiple Sclerosis, educate the general public about MS, and raise some money for the cause. These are the main reasons that Top and Derby created the limited edition cane in MS orange.  Many people who have purchased their lovely canes live with Multiple Sclerosis and this is their way of giving back, showing support, and spreading the love. As Matt, the Creative Director over at Top and Derby, says in the press release, “…launching the cane is the least we could do to support those who’ve supported us.” Hugs Matt!

The canes are now available on Top and Derby’s site (here). They include a sizing chart feature to ensure a proper fit. Measure twice, order once!

And, please share some photos if you end up buying one! I’d love to see you strutting around town with your new orange cane. I will do the same and will post images soon. Feel free to share photos on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram using the hashtag #canesforacure

Thanks and be well.

Christie

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Orange is the new black via the #Orange4MSF campaign

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness month kicks off on March 1 and there is no shortage of awareness campaigns out there. The first one that caught my eye is the #Orange4MSF campaign which invites everyone to take a selfie with an orange. Why an orange? Orange is the official color of Multiple Sclerosis awareness and we’re really amped to make orange the new pink, the new black.

The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (MSF) launched this fun effort and its main mission is to spread the word about Multiple Sclerosis, educating the public and building hope for those living with this often debilitating and complicated neurological disease.  We all hope that the campaign goes viral as social media channels explode with this important message.

And, you can help! Show your support by snapping a selfie with an orange and then sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #Orange4MSF and #4MSF in your posts. Let’s build hope and let’s educate.

Mine’s coming soon so stay tuned!

Take care and be well,
Christie

For more information, check out these sources:

Sunday, February 15, 2015

If I can bicycle, I bicycle


Cycling is something that brings me pure joy and helps me forget that, if even for a few moments, that I am someone living with Multiple Sclerosis. For me, that can be one of the greatest benefits  – not to be consumed by life with a chronic illness as I fly by the ocean waves, pedaling as hard as I can, on my bicycle. It is pure happiness.

Certainly there are days when I cannot ride, those days when the fatigue kicks in full blast. I simply rest through these moments, reminding myself that tomorrow is a new day and on that new day, if I can bicycle, I bicycle.

Take care,
Christie

Thursday, February 5, 2015

iConquerMS™: Our Voices. Our Data. Our Power.

Hey everyone -

iConquerMS has been hitting the national scene and invites you to participate in this incredibly important research project. If you want more information, there is a great (and free!) webinar coming up on February 9th that explains it all. Hope to "see" you there.

Check it out:
On Monday, February 9, 2015 at 2:30 PM EST, Robert McBurney, PhD, President and CEO of the Accelerated Cure Project for MS and the Principal Investigator for iConquerMS™, and Laura Kolaczkowski, the Lead Patient Representative for the initiative, will talk about iConquerMS™ and what it means for the MS community. To sign up, register here.

In the meanwhile, here is a video that highlights how important our voice is, how important our data is, and how important our power is in our journey to fight Multiple Sclerosis and to eventually land on that cure. And, in the event that you'd like to read more about iConquerMS, check it out here.



iConquerMS - Our Voices. Our Data. Our Power.

Best to you always,
Christie

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