MS Canada’s work is particularly important for Canadians because our country has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world. There are nearly 100,000 people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis living in Canada today, and nearly one in three people of those people live in Ontario.
No doctor can tell you exactly what’s going to happen.
Click to see video transcript
The MS Society of Canada, we work to support people – Canadians – who live with MS. MS is highly prevalent in Canada. We’ve got one of the highest rates in the entire world. About 77,000 Canadians live with MS and three times more likely to affect women than men. And it’s really does strike in those prime years of life – those years where we’re young, starting families, building our future.
So, the way that we support and of course we fund very important research into the cause, cure, treatments and just general understanding about the disease. But also provide very important programs and services for people living with the disease today.
Multiple Sclerosis is classified as an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. It can manifest itself in so many different ways. And that’s one of the most challenging pieces of MS. No doctor can tell you exactly what’s going to happen.
In the relapsing remitting form of the disease, sometimes there’s recovery. You start to get better and you don’t really know when that next attack will come. And the other form of the disease, progressive MS, it just continually gets worse over time.
So, it’s really – it’s – there’s a great deal of uncertainty and unpredictability with the disease. It can be life altering for anyone that lives with it.
I was diagnosed in 2013. And it was a long hard road to that diagnosis. It was like four years of many different things that I could or could not be and many trips to the ER. So, actually when I was diagnosed, it was a little bit of a relief, because it was an answer to a question that seemed unanswerable.
But it was also crazy scary at the same time. I was 23 years old and I had just started on a career that I absolutely loved. And I was working really, really hard and was worried that this was going to change my life. And I mean, it did. It was kind of the obliteration of expectation.
I spent a good three, four years keeping my diagnosis to myself predominantly and it was not a fun place to be. I was definitely in a little bit of denial, but also just afraid of what people would think. And I didn’t see that there was any – that there could be any power to that. Or, that this was actually something that could be positive.
And the MS Society really helped me find the positive and find the community that I needed to help support me. So, I think I would just – I just certainly wouldn’t be the person I am today, without having the support of the community that the MS Society introduced me to.
I would say to the Donors that it’s incredible what your donations are doing, absolutely. You’re supporting a cause and a community with your donations. But you’re also advocating for a community of people who need advocating for.
Absolutely everything we do relies on Donor dollars, which is why we’re so grateful for campaigns like this. So, we’re so grateful for Donor dollars that allow us to do this important work. Every single piece of our work is made possible, only through donations.
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Kaileigh Krysztoifak was just 23 when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
“I had just started on a career that I absolutely loved. And I was working really, really hard and was worried that this was going to change my life,” Kaileigh says. “And I mean, it did. It was kind of the obliteration of expectation.”
Today, there are treatments for multiple sclerosis that can reduce and/or ease the impact of symptoms. However, doctors still can’t accurately track when a person’s multiple sclerosis may get worse or what might trigger a relapse. The unpredictability of living with multiple sclerosis is one of the reasons why the programs and support MS Canada offers are so vitally important. MS Canada is a trusted source of information and support for people affected by multiple sclerosis, and programs like the Quality of Life Equipment Grants and the CPP-D (Canada Pension Plan Disability benefit) Application class provide practical advice and assistance for people who need help accessing their benefits or with the cost of mobility equipment and safety devices.
“The MS Society really helped me find the positive and find the community that I needed to help support me,” says Kaileigh. “So, I think I would just – I just certainly wouldn’t be the person I am today without having the support of the community that the MS Society introduced me to.”
Empowering positive change for people living with multiple sclerosis is a vital part of MS Canada’s mission. People with multiple sclerosis are especially at risk of financial insecurity and have disproportionately high rates of unemployment. They may also experience financial and physical barriers to accessing newer and more effective treatments or comprehensive home care. This can be particularly difficult for people living in remote and rural communities across Ontario.
Federated Health Charities has supported MS Canada since 2019.
“It’s incredible what your donations are doing, absolutely,” says Kaileigh. “You’re supporting a cause and a community with your donations. But you’re also advocating for a community of people who need advocating for.”
Learn more about MS Canada at MS Canada.
Donate to Federated Health Charities today to support a healthier Ontario and a world free of multiple sclerosis.
Click on the button below to make a donation to MS Canada through Federated Health Charities
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315 Front St. West, 5th Floor
For general questions:
315 Front St. West, 5th Floor