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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Spotlight on the MSAA: An Amazing Organization!

Of the handful of well established, trustworthy organizations related to MS, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is one of the best.

This association was founded in 1970, and it's mission statement reads:

"The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national, nonprofit organization founded in 1970 and is dedicated to improving lives today. MSAA provides ongoing support and direct services to individuals with MS, their families, and their care partners."

The website(http://mymsaa.org) is an excellent resource for all MS patients, whether newly diagnosed, or well into the disease course. The site contains a vast array of information, resources, and and now a handy mobile app called "My MS Manager" is available through the app store.

"My MS Manager™ - MSAA’s free mobile phone app has been recognized by Healthline.com as one of the best multiple sclerosis smartphone apps for the second consecutive year. Healthline’s selection of the best MS apps represents iPhone and Android apps that are useful in making life with MS more manageable and were based on factors including affordability, user rating and functionality."(MSAA.)

My MS Manager is a convenient tool to help individuals with MS and their care partners effectively manage the ever-changing course of the disease. The app allows users to input and store medical records, track symptoms, provides an up-to-date feed of MS-related news and offers other features to help people manage their MS.

Having technology such as this on our side allows patients to more accurately track symptoms. As we all know, memory issues and the frequently fluctuating course of the disease makes recalling this information difficult. An app such as My MS Manager can solve this issue, allowing us to share more accurate information with our health providers.

MSAA also provides educational resources, via telephone, online, or in-person. These resources can be found at: http://mymsaa.org/msaa-help/info/. Trustworthy sources of information are incredibly important for patients, and this is one you can trust.

MSAA offers assistance to uninsured or under-insured patients, including MRI assistance programs. This is an incredible resource for those who are in need of medical care, but cannot afford the astronomical costs. This resource can be found at: http://mymsaa.org/msaa-help/mri/.

In addition to MRI assistance, I was thrilled to discover that MSAA offers barrier-free housing assistance to MS patients! The site's description follows:

"MSAA owns and operates five barrier-free apartment complexes which provide accessible, affordable housing for physically disabled adults in an independent living environment. Each of the 125 one-bedroom or efficiency apartments is designed to meet the needs of persons with MS or other physical disabilities. [Amenities include step-less entries, widened doorways for wheelchair passage, roll-under kitchen sinks and counters, lowered light switches, large roll-in showers with grab bars and a pull down bench, air conditioning , and other features to ensure a safe and comfortable living environment.] The apartments are also very affordable as rent is subsidized through the government. As a result, rental payments are 30% of tenant's adjusted gross income.

Each complex includes a laundry room, keypad-entry security system, amply handicapped parking, and a community room for group activities such as game nights, and meetings. MSAA also provides on-site social services at each complex and transportation where available" (MSAA.)
The link to this resource follows: http://mymsaa.org/msaa-help/barrier/.

The MSAA depends on fundraising and donations to keep these excellent programs up and running. If you are in a position to give, or fundraise for an incredibly worth cause, consider the MSAA. The Swim for MS program is the main source of fundraising for this wonderful organization. The link is found here: http://www.mymsaa.org/swimforms/.

I have had the opportunity to blog for this incredible group, as well. There are a vast collection of blogs found in the MSAA Conversations blog site here:

I hope that you find these resources helpful, and please pass them on to others who might need this information. MSAA is indeed a treasure trove of information, education, and support for MS patients who need help TODAY.

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