Thanks to the dedication of MS activists, research funding for MS is growing at the state and federal levels!
In March of this year to coincide with MS Awareness Week, “Mission Move” was unveiled in Illinois as the third lottery ticket benefiting the National MS Society. Since the passage of “Scratch Out MS” legislation in Illinois in October of 2007, $3.9 million has been raised by lottery tickets for MS research. This research funding is only possible because MS activists from the Society’s Greater Illinois and the Gateway Chapters supported the drafting and urged introduction of legislation and helped usher the bill to passage. These funds are supporting local research at the Rush University Medical Center and the University of Illinois at Chicago and are investigating important areas like repairing damage of demyelination and maintaining function and strength through physical therapy and similar means.
Earlier this month, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles released $20,000 for pediatric MS research funding. The funds have been collecting since 2004, when the New York state legislature passed legislation allowing the National MS Society to create a custom license plate with the National MS Society logo. The license plates create awareness for MS and the $25 annual fee supports pediatric MS research across New York. This is all the excellent result of creative advocacy of the Society’s Long Island, New York City—Southern New York, and Upstate New York Chapters. From the release of the license plate funds, the National MS Society awarded $10,000 to University at Buffalo’s Jacobs Neurological Institute (JNI) and Stony Brook University on Long Island. Both universities will use the funding to advance MS pediatric research.
Check out the great press conference, where the Society, JNI, a 14-year-old pediatric patient, and New York State Senator Mark Grisanti (R-60) were on hand to celebrate the victory.
At the federal level, MS activists have helped secure over $20 million for MS funding in the Congressional Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) since 2008. MS activists are currently urging Congress to continue funding MS research in the CDMRP and though we’re far from finished, just last week got the good news that the House has approved $5 million MS research. Since 2008, the National Institutes of Health has invested $604 million in MS research across the United States. Thank you, MS activists, at the state and federal level for your commitment to creating a world free of MS!