This was the theme of this year’s National MS Society's Annual Leadership Conference held in Denver from November 7-9 and what an extraordinary conference it was. The general sessions were attended by 700 to 1,000 participants and greater than the number of attendees was the sense of hope, optimism and outlook for the future of the treatment of this disease.
We all know that “MS kills connections”. The disease causes short-circuits that prevent the brain from sending messages to the body. But how do “connections kill MS”? Very simple. The more researchers we connect with to study this disease, the more progress we make towards developing better treatments and a cure. The more people we engage in our lobbying efforts, both individuals and lawmakers, the more funding we can get towards research and the better treatment we get for those affected by the disease. The more people become aware and educated about MS, the more money we can raise through our walks, bike rides, dinners, bake sales and any other means used to raise money to help fund our research and advocacy efforts. In other words, our “connections kill MS”.
Inspired? You bet I am. After attending this conference it would be impossible not to feel inspired. Many of the general sessions were spent recognizing those individuals who have made the biggest difference in the past year. The top researchers, the biggest fundraisers and most effective advocates were all recognized for their contribution to the progress that has been made over the past year.
Why was I there? For the 2nd year in a row I was asked to be the co-emcee of the event with Reyna Magpale as my partner. (She is an amazing emcee and is ready to take over doing the evening news!) Being asked to participate in this event was truly one of the greatest honors I have ever been asked to do.
I wish that everyone could attend this event because if they did, they would return home ready to do more. They would do more fundraising. They would ask more people to participate. They would be more involved with advocacy and talking to their lawmakers. I know that they would do more because I know that I will do more.
Doing more means making more of a difference. Making a difference means living a life that matters. Living our life in a way that matters is why we are here.
I am ready to do more and hope that you will join me at walk MS 2014 on Sunday, April 6 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. To register, donate and make a difference click here.
Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.