Take Action Today
- Call your Senator's Washington, D.C. or district office to talk about this issue. Call the Capitol switchboard at 1-800-828-0498 to be connected.
- Make an appointment to visit with your Senator or their staff in the district during the March 17-28 recess.
- Attend a community or town hall meeting. Call the district office for a schedule.
You can use these talking points and background when you speak with your Senator:
- A Dear Colleague letter is being circulated in the House by Senators Sherrod Brown and Jim Bunning. The letter requests that $15 million be provided for multiple sclerosis research through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.
- Please have Senator ____ sign on the letter by contacting Senator Brown or Bunning. As a constituent and an MS activist, I encourage your support of this investment in MS research.
- [Share how MS has impacted you personally]
- Many U.S. veterans have stories and symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Preliminary evidence suggests that Gulf War veterans could have an increased risk.
- A study found an unexpected, doubling of MS between 1993 and 2000 in Kuwait, which suggests a potential environmental trigger for MS because of exposure to neurotoxins such as burning oil fields and poison gases.
- More than 25,000 veterans being treated in the VHA are living with a diagnosis of MS. A recent study in the Annals of Neurology identified more than 5,000 cases of MS among U.S. veterans that were deemed "service-connected."
- MS is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system and is generally diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, the prime of life. The cause of MS is still unknown, the symptoms are unpredictable, and there is no cure.
Now is the time to pursue MS research in the CDMRP for fiscal year 2009. This program is funded annually through the Department of Defense (DoD) appropriations bill. Last year, your efforts influenced Congress to include MS and for the first time it became one of the areas eligible to compete for research funds through this program. We can build on this success and secure specific funding for MS research. This research would not only benefit our veterans, but would help move us closer to a world free of MS. Click here for more information on the federal grant money newly available for MS researchers.