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Be a part of the community

Be a part of the community

When you have multiple sclerosis (MS), it can feel good to engage with others who know what you are going through. Supporting others can strengthen you as well. Taking a proactive path to self-care has so many benefits. And at the end of the day, participating and surrounding yourself with like-minded people helps everyone involved.

Let’s start with the basics

One way to participate is by signing up for Walk MS. Walk MS is the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s largest national fundraising activity—bringing together passionate people who connect in communities nationwide and raise funds toward the mission of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society: a world free of MS. Over 300,000 people have joined. And, in total, Walk MS has raised over $1 billion. Without a doubt, Walk MS changes lives. Step up for a walk.

But maybe walking isn’t your cup of tea. Why not help build up the community and Bike MS? Sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Bike MS is the largest fundraising bike series in the world. Each year, nearly 75,000 cyclists and more than 6,000 teams ride together to change life for people with MS. Each ride in the Bike MS series offers unique local flavor, while maintaining a consistently well-organized and extraordinary experience. You’ll find food and refreshments to fuel the ride, as well as mechanical and medical assistance if needed. It’s more than the ride of a lifetime. With each pedal stroke and raised dollar, you're helping create possibilities. Of course, always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine. Find your ride.

If you can’t make it to a more formal and organized event, then Swim for MS may be just right for you. The Swim for MS motto is “Any Pool, Any Time.” The freedom of this fundraiser is incredible. You can truly make this your own by individually participating, recruiting other swimmers, or donating to a swimmer. Because the program is extraordinarily flexible, you can involve other communities that you belong to as well. For example, sororities and fraternities, clubs, or sports teams can participate as a group. And you can host activities such as pool volleyball or water polo. Participate for a cause and get your swim on.

Untapped resources close to home

Being a part of events and the community doesn’t have to mean physically participating in an activity. You can join in any way that you are able to. There are also untapped resources very close to home that are often overlooked—such as your own community.

A great place to start is at a support group through local or national organizations. Approach places of worship, clubs, or activities that you are already involved in.

There are also many ways to engage your community independently. Cheer someone on from the sidelines. Hand out water or a smile at a walk. Raise money for awareness. Find a mentor. Help strengthen yourself by widening your circle of support. Remember, it takes only 2 people to start a community and get involved.

A community at your fingertips

Online communities are easy to overlook, but they can have a powerful impact. You can carve out a niche by creating or joining a social media page or group. If you’re looking to exchange opinions or have a conversation in an open forum, there are a ton of online groups for people similar to you.

Some of the most popular chat rooms include MS Connection and Patients Like Me. But that’s just a start: Yogis with MS, Military Veterans with MS—you name it, there’s probably a chat room or an advocacy group for it. It’s a great opportunity to chat and exchange notes about your experiences with MS.

As you can see, there really are so many simple ways to get involved. Why not take a step in a new or undiscovered direction? Walk MS says it best: “Together, we are stronger.” So, support, walk, volunteer, bike, fundraise, swim, or obstacle course your way to the finish line. Have fun. Engage. Get stronger. Help others. Find meaning. The community needs you!


MS LifeLines is a registered trademark of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany or its affiliates.

EMD Serono is the Healthcare business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in the U.S. and Canada.

This information is intended only for residents of the United States.

Copyright ©2021 Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
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