By Mark Carey
Yes, I am still riding day and night to reach 10,000 miles in one year and raising money for a cure for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). On June 29, 2021, I reached the 4000.5 mile marker on a particularly humid and hot 92 degree June evening. I have 6000 more miles to go. To date, I have raised over $5000. You can help contribute any dollar amount to this worthy cause by donating HERE. If you are NOT on Facebook, please use this donation link HERE. You can follow my daily rides on Strava.com HERE.
WHO ARE THE REAL HEROES WE ARE HELPING HERE?
People who have MS are just like you and me, but you might not know who they are. MS is deceptive, as most symptoms are not noticeable in people with MS, but in others the symptoms are more obvious such as mobility issues. People with MS are “fighters” and they are the most courageous, genuine and straightforward people you will ever meet.
TOP MS FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
WHAT IS MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS?
MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, the spinal cord and optic nerves. The body’s own immune system attacks the central nervous system. Once attacked, the damage to the central nervous system interferes with the transmission of nerve signals between the brain, the spinal cord and other parts of the body.
WHO DOES MS AFFECT?
Women Are 2-3 times more likely to be diagnosed than men. Most people are diagnosed between 20 -50 years of age. MS impacts 1-3 million individuals worldwide.
IS THERE A CURE FOR MS?
There is no cure, although Bio-N-Tech has developed a vaccine/cure in animal studies in mice. Click HERE for more information about this research and possible cure.
THREE TYPES OF MS
Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS) (85% of all cases) characterized by periods of relapses (new symptoms or a new worsening of older symptoms also called attacks or exacerbations) that subside, with full or partial recovery, and no disease progression (worsening) between attacks.
Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS) (50% of all cases) is characterized by a more progressive course, with or without relapses or new MRI activity.
Primary Progressive MS (PPMS) (15% of all cases) is characterized by a gradual but steady progression of disability from the onset of symptoms, with few or no relapses or remissions.
MS SYMPTOMS VARY
The most common symptoms of MS include fatigue, numbness and tingling, blurred vision, double vision, weakness, poor coordination, imbalance, pain, depression and problems with memory and concentration. Less commonly MS may cause tremor, paralysis and blindness.
HOW IS MS DIAGNOSED?
MRI, spinal fluid analysis, blood tests, evoked potentials (EEG).
MS IS AN EXPENSIVE DISEASE
The total lifetime costs per person with MS is estimated to be $4.1 million. The average annual healthcare costs are estimated between $30,000-$100,000 per person based on the type of MS.
MS AND EMPLOYMENT
People with MS work every day. A majority of people with MS will encounter employment related issues during their careers. For example, employees with MS require periodic time off to take medications and require time off during exacerbations. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations in the form of paid sick leave. In more serious cases, employees with MS require longer disability leaves of absences and apply and receive paid short and long term disability benefits through their employers. As an ERISA attorney, I have successfully handled these types of cases for MS clients, as the medical evidence is usually dispositive and benefits are almost always awarded by the employer’s disability carrier.
Employees with MS also face employment discrimination while on the job. Discrimination issues range from denial of accommodations, refusal to provide disability leave, demotions and wrongful terminations. I have also successfully handled and resolved a great number of MS discrimination cases over my career.