A few years ago, our youngest son was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We are avid bridge players and decided to raise money for MS research thru bridge clubs.
We started out six years ago with the first MS Bridge Day. Ten clubs in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area helped us to get off to a good start. In 2005 we expanded to all of PA, DE and NJ. 34 clubs helped us to raise funds for research and helped spread the word about Multiple Sclerosis.
In 2006 over 100 clubs participated from 18 states and in 2007 more than 140 clubs participated from 27 states. This year more than 150 clubs have already ran MS Bridge Across America events and we have raised over $34,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to support research.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the central nervous system affecting the brain and spinal cord. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40. Symptoms may be mild such as numbness in the limbs or severe – paralysis or loss of vision. Many people with multiple sclerosis live with severe fatigue, depression and cognitive problems which affect their ability to continue in their careers. The funds raised through MS Bridge Across America support research into the cause, cure, and treatment of MS.
MS Bridge Across America week is scheduled for October 1st to 7th. Letters have been sent to bridge clubs nationwide inviting their participation.
We have learned that thousands of Veterans of the Gulf and Iraq Wars have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
This represents a much higher number that that found in the civilian population. Doctors feel that there may be environmental "triggers" that are causing this increase. Senator Patty Murray of Washington State has supported proper benefits for these returning veterans.