Countdown to World MS Day #MSConnections

Please note: The current Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic is fast moving, and reactions to it seem to update not just day-by-day but minute-by-minute. Obviously, this site was not designed to bring you the very latest developments in a ‘breaking news’ story such as this. Instead, this site will continue to include news and opinions relating to major events, policy changes, and so on.



World MS Day is just 26 days away! And, with the world having been plunged into one form of COVID-19 lockdown or another, this year the emphasis is on MS Connections.

“#MSConnections is all about community connection, self-connection and connections to quality care. Never has it been more important to stay connected. Find out how you can stand in solidarity with the global MS community in these unprecedented times,” says Sarah Dobson of the MS International Federation (MSIF).

Billed as a day to celebrate global solidarity and hope for the future, World MS Day takes place on May 30 every year. It is a chance for all of us to share stories, raise awareness and campaign with everyone affected by MS.

Usually, World MS Day activities take place throughout the month of May and in early June but, this year, they are concentrating on activities that can be achieved despite the lockdown restrictions.

As intimated above, the 2020 World MS Day theme is ‘connections’. The MSIF is challenging social barriers that leave those of us affected by MS feeling lonely and socially isolated. Together, we can advocate for better services, celebrate support networks and champion self-care. Change the future, find our #MSConnections.

World MS Day is coordinated by the MSIF and its member organisations and each campaign is developed by the federation and a global working group. This year, this includes representatives from India, Tunisia, Ireland, Argentina, Slovakia, Spain, the UK, Greece, Australia, and the USA.

Variety of goals

MS Connections is flexible for individuals and organisations to achieve a variety of goals, including:

  • Challenging social barriers and stigma that can leave people affected by MS feeling lonely and isolated.
  • Building communities that support and nurture people affected by MS.
  • Promoting self-care and healthy living with MS.
  • Lobbying decision makers for better services and effective treatment for people with MS.

To these ends, we are being urged to:

  1. organise a virtual event, activity or fundraiser for the MS Connections campaign. “Don’t be afraid to get creative and make some noise,” we are told.
  2. call the press! Get World MS Day, and our own event, covered in the news is a great way to put MS in the spotlight.
  3. use the #MSConnections campaign to advocate for better services and show decision-makers the importance of quality care. People affected by MS can be left feeling lonely and isolated and better access to support and treatment can be life-changing.
  4. tell the world about our MS Connections and raise awareness this World MS Day. Share the tools online to start a conversation about MS Connections.
  5. remember to use the #MSConnections and #WorldMSDay hashtags to feature on the World MS Day social media wall.
  6. get inspired and share what we are doing on the World MS Day map!

As part of World MS Day, a sign language symbol for the word ‘together’, has been transformed into the MS Heart. This is a symbol of solidarity with everyone affected by MS. You can connect your hands together to create the ‘MS Heart’. We are all asked to take a picture of our own MS Heart to show our support for the global MS community.

#WorldMSDay #MSConnections

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Please note that being born in the UK, all my posts, are written using British English spelling.

For example:

Centre                              not center (except in names, Centers of Disease Control)                  Colour                              not color                                                                                                                      Diarrhoea                       not diarrhea                                                                                                  Haematology                not hematology                                                                                Haematopoietic          not hematopoietic

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * is the personal website of Ian Franks. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. More recently, he was a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.

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Note: Health-related information available on 50shadesofsun website is for your general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Ian is not a doctor, so cannot and does not give you medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues. Also, consult a doctor before starting a new diet or exercise programme. Any opinions expressed are purely his own unless otherwise stated.


2 thoughts on “Countdown to World MS Day #MSConnections

  1. Hi Mr Franks.
    My name is Stephen Ingarfield.
    I believe I spoke with you a short time ago.
    I have been trying to get on prescriptions for Ampyra or frampyra, which I believe has now passed its tests, or what ever doctors do.
    I have myself been trying to get a prescriptions from Doctor O Pearson , who works in Morriston hospital.Swanses. he seems to be the top numerologist.
    I cannot speak to this man and he hides behind his ms nurses.
    If this is the way he works how else can we recieve medication to help ms patients.
    I no this rant has nothin to do with your day out, but I would appreciate if you could tell me how to receive on prescription Ampyra or framperdine or frampyra .
    The reason I am asking you to help Me Franks is because you write well in your news paper. Please can you help,
    I don’t wish to change doctors or hospitals or move to get medication.
    It is wrong.


    • Hi Stephen, you have a right to see a neurologist. Demand an appointment to see him when you see an MS Nurse. If you have any difficulty, the MS Society is probably best placed to help you. Fampyra is approved for prescription on the NHS in Wales. As you go to Morriston hospital, I presume you live in Wales.


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