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Facts about MS

>Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable neurological disease that interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and the rest of the body.

>MS can cause blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, cognitive deficits, and even paralysis and blindness.

>These symptoms might be permanent, or they might come and go.

>Two to three times more women than men have been diagnosed with MS.

>MS is typically diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, although an estimated 8,000 – 10,000 children under the age of 18 also live with MS. 

>Studies indicate that genetic factors may make certain individuals more susceptible to the disease, but there is no evidence that MS is directly inherited.

>MS occurs in most ethnic groups, including African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics/Latinos, but it is more common in Caucasians of northern European ancestry.

>MS is more common in those areas farthest from the equator. However, some ethnic groups, such as the Inuit, Aborigines and Maoris, have a few is any documented cases of MS regardless of where they live. This suggests that geography, ethnicity, genetics and other factors interact in some complex way that scientists have not yet determined.

>An estimated 2.1 million people live with MS worldwide.

>MS is the most common neurological disease leading to disability in young adults.

Facts about the National MS Society

>There are approximately 1,200 professional staff members and 500,000 volunteers who carry out the Society's daily operations.

>Nationwide income in 2011 was $221 million. The majority of Society income comes from private contributions, 67% of which is generated through special events. Approximately 8% is received from corporate support, including pharmaceutical companies and government grants.

>Approximately 76% of Society total revenue is devoted to research and service programs while the remainder is invested in support services such as fundraising and Society management. It costs the Society about 17 cents to raise a dollar.

>Since its founding by Sylvia Lawry in March of 1946, the Society has invested over $761 million to advance MS research.

>During the last 65 years, the Society has been at the core of virtually every major breakthrough in treating and understanding the disease.

>The U.S. Society is one of 43 sister Societies forming the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation also founded by Sylvia Lawry, who died at age 86 in 2001.

>Cynthia Zagieboylo, the president & CEO of the Society, has devoted more than two decades to the MS cause.

Facts about the Upstate New York Chapter 

>The Upstate New York Chapter serves more than 12,800 people living with MS and their families in Upstate New York. 

>Each year, the Upstate New York Chapter hosts more than 30 fundraising events.

>The Upstate New York Chapter offers 20 different programs and services, such as financial aid, wellness and fitness programs, a scholarship program, programs for the newly diagnosed, professional education programs, and more.

>In 2012, more than 200 volunteers participated in MS Service Day. Volunteer teams went into 37 client homes across Upstate New York to perform household chores and light repairs – projects the home owner may not be able to complete because of the effects of MS. 

>Walk MS is the chapter's largest annual fundraiser. In 2013, Walk MS will happen at 19 locations across Upstate New York in May, with a goal of raising $1.45 million dollars.

>In the fiscal year 2012, 77% of funds raised by the Upstate New York Chapter supported MS research, advocacy and local programs and services, 19% went toward organizing fundraising events, and only 4% was allocated for management and general expenses.

>The chapter employs 27 full-time staff members.

>Cynthia Zagieboylo, President & CEO of the Society, lives in Upstate New York.

>The New York State DMV has custom license plates with the National MS Society logo available for purchase; $25 of the $53.75 goes toward MS pediatric research being conducted in Buffalo and Albany.