What are you planning for World MS Day 2014?

If you can’t participate in activities in your local area, don’t worry. There’s a huge online campaign. We’re asking people to think about the barriers to access that affect their lives and to make a wish for a better world. You can view wishes and add your own at www.Worldmsday.org

Argentina: Esclerosis Múltiple Argentina are holding a free informational meeting on World MS Day. Health Professionals will provide information about patient’s rights, access and social benefits for people with MS. They are also running a social media campaign which emphasises the importance of talking about MS rather than say celebrity gossip. They hope to reach lots of people with the help of celebrity supporters.

Australia: MS Australia will hold a meeting with parliamentarians and decision makers in Canberra to discuss key issues regarding access for people with MS. They will also be sharing messages from the ‘one day’ campaign via social media.  MS Research Australia will be running their annual ‘Kiss Goodbye to MS’ campaign throughout May with the aim of raising awareness as well as funds. On World MS Day landmarks will be lit up red as a part of Kiss Goodbye to MS  in Queensland, Tasmania.

MS Queensland will be announcing the winners of their MS Heroes awards on the eve of World MS Day at a special reception. Everyone who submitted stories to the Living Positively with MS program will be recognised at an afternoon tea hosted by MS Ambassador, Mayor of Ipswich and pwMS, Paul Pisasale.

MS society of Western Australia are holding their annual street appeal on World MS Day, there will be a flash mob and a double decker bus driving around the city and spruiking the cause. MS (NSW/ACT/VIC) are launching the Seeing MS Campaign opening the gallery to the public on May 28th.

The Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has shared his wish and support for MS in a YouTube video.

Austria: The Austrian MS Society  have organised a press conference in Vienna on May 27  to discuss the reports “MS barometer” and “Atlas of MS”. The group of participants includes:  a member of the federal ministry of labour and social affairs, the head of the center of public health, the head of the women´s health programme, a neurologist  working in  MS clinics  and the president of the Austrian MS Society.  There will also be regional meetings on World MS Day to educate patients.

Bahrain: The Bahrain MS Patients Society is organising an MS awareness day at a school and holding a one day workshop involving neurologists, psychiatrists, nutritionists, and physiotherapy specialists to discuss various MS related issues.

Belgium: On World MS Day itself, the two Belgian regional societies and the National MS Society are organising a big family event for their affiliates, persons with MS, families and friends, from the two language communities. The event will take place in Belgian’s most attractive animal park. They expect more than 2000 people.  People will be able to walk in the park, visit the various attractions including the two pandas recently arrived from China.

In a large tent especially set up for our event, we have foreseen a large table with all the wishes that people were invited to submit by email for several weeks. These wishes are reproduced on origamis in the shape of frogs.  The symbolism of the frog is that it jumps from one obstacle to another without getting discouraged. The tent will also provide a space where all our affiliates can meet and enjoy these moments of happiness, sharing their experiences.

The National MS Society has also sent a press release to the authorities, governmental bodies and all stakeholders involved with employment releasing the conclusions of their employment survey and the expectations of the people with MS in Belgium with regard to getting a job or staying at work despite their disease.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Multiple Sclerosis Association of Tuzla will bring their local MS community together for a day of learning and socialising.  There will be a lecture about Multiple Sclerosis and the health minister will be attending.

Brazil: The Brazil Association for MS (ABEM) will celebrate World MS Day with the famous band Falamansa who will be making a presentation for people with MS and their guests. The event will be broadcast on the SBT television station. ABEM have also worked to help smaller groups set up their own local World MS Day celebrations, so there are events, lectures and media coverage happening regionally across the country.

Canada: MS Society of Canada  will be lighting Niagara Falls up in red, and will be holding an information/education/motivation night near the falls for all members in the area. They’re also going to be talking to local politicians and decision makers about what they can do to make life easier for people with MS.

The conference in Cuba

Some of the conference delegates  in Cuba


Cuba: World MS Day was celebrated early in Cuba  with a large conference on rehabilitation in MS.

Croatia:This World MS Day the Croatian MS Society will be advocating for changes in laws which discriminate against people with MS. They will be pushing for changes which maximize quality of life for people with MS. This campaign will also raise public awareness of the disease and the difficulties and challenges in its diagnosis and treatment.

In Zagreb , on May 28, they will promote medical literature on the topic of “Disorders of the urinary and reproductive system in patients with multiple sclerosis”  150 people with MS will participate and there will be media coverage.  They will also post materials to people’s home addresses in order to ensure they are accessible.

Cyprus: Cyprus Multiple Sclerosis Association are planning medical conferences in Nicosia and Limassol. They will also be holding a press conference for their campaign on access which will include people with MS and their families
as well as government ministers for Health, Labour & Social Insurance and Communication & Works.

Egypt: The World MS Day celebration started on May 15 and was the first time for MS Care to have the celebration outside Cairo. MS Care arranged to celebrate in Alexandria. On May 15 there was a dinner for MS patients along the seaside. On May 16 there was a Marathon and Scooter race very close to the seaside. After finishing the race everyone gathered to fly balloons with WMSD logo there was also a lunch, a press conference and educational meeting for the patients.  Egyptian Society of Multiple Sclerosis will be having its annual conference on MS day, with eminent neurologists specialized in MS.

Estonia: The Union of Estonian MS Societies are holding activities throughout the week of World MS Day. They will have public events, one in Tallinn and the other in Tartu. The theme they are using is “It is possible! To excercise and move about!” The events will promote movement and the necessity of exercise. There will 1 km route in the city which can be taken by walking, running, wheelchairs or with other helping objects and walking aids. The aim is to get everyone outside from their homes and to inform people to take small steps to support health.

In Tartu a science centres will use their equipment in order to provide the people passing by the opportunity to get to know the feeling when your leg feels like a wooden stick or you cannot button your shirt (people have to use rubber gloves in order to understand) or you have an obstacle around your tummy (people will get to put on a corsette for that). The occasions will be held after working hours so that everyone could participate.

Finland: A band has recorded a song for World MS Day. The song is used in Finnish MS Society’s national media campaign that takes place on television, radio, newspapers and Facebook. Five people have told their MS stories online. These people also feature on the campaign’s tv-commercial. The theme is Access to treatment, drugs and therapies and the stories show how these people have benefited from the help they have received. On World MS Day there will be 20 events across Finland to raise awareness with open days, lectures, handing out information leaflets and balloons on squares and other public spaces.

France: Ligue Française contre la Sclérose en Plaques are working with Biogen on the House of MS project which runs across France from the 16th to the 14th of June. ‘La Maison de SEP’ is an open day where people with MS, carers and families can speak to health care professionals and patient organisations. There will also be smaller regional information sessions taking place.

The Foundation for Research in MS (ARSEP) will be celebrating on Mother’s Day in France (May 25), with a fund-raising campaign linked with florists. This is particularly appropriate as MS affects women more than men.

Adults students in the AFPA (formation professionnelle pour adultes) are planning a conference and debate at their college followed by a bake-sale, a tombola, a bring-and-buy sale  and Zumba and Jazz performances to raise awareness and funds.

Germany: The German MS Society DMSG are using the tagline “Equal chances in spite of MS. We work on it. Please help us.” They are strongly promoting the access theme by distributing materials which say  ‘People with MS must have the same chances in school, education, occupation, in the social and informal life like healthy people!’

The DMSG-project ‘jobcoaching’ via video-cast will be launched for World MS Day. DMSG are also running their own wish wall where people can share what things would make their lives easier.  In cooperation with the DMSG Christopher, a young man with MS, will run from Bonn to Teheran (Iran) to raise awareness and collect donations for MS research.

In the state of Baden-Württemberg AMSEL (Aktion Multiple Sklerose Erkrankter) are running a large campaign including: Banners on the trams in Stuttgart, press releases, a new brochure, asking pharmacies to display materials to promote World MS Day. They will also be showing a giant brain at Stuttgart’s main train station, they’ve invited school children to visit and learn and they will be three scientific talks talking place in order to inform the public about MS.

Gibraltar: The Gibraltar Multiple Sclerosis Society will be raising awareness through the press, radio and TV locally and online through Facebook and Twitter. They are also organising a Zumba Spectacular!

Greece: The Association of Persons with Multiple Sclerosis (AoPwMS) is running events throughout May. Bikers and people with MS will cross Athens with signs saying “ MS does NOT STOP LIFE”. Afterwards there will be a celebration with members, friends and their families. The members of the Hellenic GS Motoclub will carry the message on their tours  all year.

On the 28th & 29th May members, volunteers and and football and basketball players will operate kiosks to inform the general public with the motto “Pass the ball to Life”. Younger members of the Association  are organizing a night out to watch a stand up comedy show with drinks and music.
On June 1st there will be a conference for MS Athens. Speakers include CMDR Mr. Ntoskas Triantafyllos Neurologist, from the Neurological Clinic at the Athens Naval Hospital and a representative from the Association of Social Responsibility for Children and Youth, who will talk about about breaking stereotypes for forgotten youth with disabilities.

For the second consecutive year, the Greek Multiple Sclerosis Society (GMSS) is organizing the MS Festival, an open-air event that gives GMSS members and friends the opportunity to visit the American Farm School of Thessaloniki and participate in a rich program of activities.  The program includes exercise workshops, informative sessions and discussions, therapeutic riding and art therapy sessions.

Visitors will play with a gigantic puzzle, participate in cooking seminars, learn nutritional tips, discover the world of gardening and planting, enjoy walking around the American Farm School’s gardens and thus realize a memorable experience.  Participation is open to 500 visitors with free entrance, coffee and meals.

Hungary: The Hungarian MS society are holding a day of activities in Budapest, including a screening of the film When I Walk. They will also be walking through the city with balloons and taking photos of people sharing their One day wishes.

Iceland: On  World MS Day there will be a big ‘sommerfeast’ at the Icelandic MS-Society (see picture), as we have done since 2009, with diverse entertainments, food and drink, and exhibition of aids, such as electric wheelchairs, wheelchairs, scooters, walking aids and diverse aids for assistance (due the campain of Access). One of the entertainments are the popband who sang for Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest earlier this month, very popular band among kids in Iceland. Also we will have a theatershow for kids. See more: http://msfelag.is/?PageID=113&NewsID=1461 Last year over 300 people came to our sommerfeast (430 people have MS in Iceland) and we are very optimistic for this year.

India: The Multiple Sclerosis Society of India (MSSI) have activities planned in each of their chapters. In Bengaluru there will be a Flash mob in a mall followed by quiz on MS and a walk. In Chennai there will be a Medical Camp for people with MS, a symposium on the theme ‘Access’ and coverage of World MS Day on 5 popular Radio stations in South India. In Delhi there will be an awareness campaign featuring an orchestra & brass band. In Hyderabad there will be a live band and hoardings to spread the message of World MS Day as well as a talk on accessibility. In Indore there will be a magic show and drama with a musical and dance program on the theme “ACCESS”. In Mumbai they will be raising awareness of MS by putting up banners in offices, malls and colleges. There will be a patient get together as well as a rally for a cyclothon which is organised with Bandra Cycle Club. In Pune the chapter and people with MS will be campaigning for better access they will be forming a human chain, and holding talks and performances across two days.

Iran: The MS community in Iran will be celebrating a week of World MS Day activities. The Iranian MS society has organised sports in which people with MS can take part including: Swimming, Darts, Chess,Horse Racing, Tennis. There will be medals given out to the winners. There will also be exercise classes, climbing  and hiking. There will also be an indoor soccer match where a team of players with MS will play a team of Iranian celebrities. The aim of this is to show that people with MS are strong, active people in many areas, and the most important thing they need along with good medicine and governmental support, is understanding about their abilities and capabilities.

There will also be cultural and artistic activities for anyone to take part in. These include: Film, Poem, Story, Comics, paintings, posters, cartoons, calligraphy, photography, sculpture, and drawing.  All the cultural and artistic fields were revolved around the needs of MS patients’ problems, requests and HOPE.

Some of the well-known Iranian artists will hold concerts in order to make this week more and more happy and merry for MS people. 4000 people with MS will enjoy these concerts.   The closing ceremony will be held in the hall of two thousand people.

Iraq: The Al Hayah MS Society in Iraq is organising a conference that will be attended by people with MS and their families, health professionals from the Neurological Society and specialised physiotherapy doctors and MS nurses. The conference will discuss problems that people with MS are facing and how to find solutions, latest developments about MS and treatments. Some gifts will be given to people with MS. Awareness raising flyers and publications will be distributed.

Ireland: MS Ireland are holding activities all over the country that include a ‘living with MS’ one day conference; coffee mornings; family days and nationwide bucket collections. As well as asking people to submit their one day wish.

Italy: The Italian MS Society are holding their annual scientific meeting  on May 28th -29th at the Frentani Congress Center in Rome. They will also launch the Charter of rights for People with MS. There will be a street exhibition of “Under Pressure: living with MS in Europe” project from EMSP in Turin. There will also be 33 local meetings on online activities taking place.

Japan: The Japanese MS Society is planning to hand out information leaflets and pens to the public on the streets of downtown Tokyo.

Jordan: MS Jordan will be running an awareness campaign in the Association of Applicable Sciences for Doctors. There will also be social activities taking place.

ALSEP Volunteers at the Beirut marathon

ALSEP Volunteers at the Beirut marathon


Lebanon: The Lebanese MS Friends Society (ALSEP) have already started their activities for World MS Day, as part of their fundraising and awareness campaign their volunteers supported the Beirut marathon.

They’ve also held an event in Zahle with more than 200 participants meeting local film producers and actors.  They will celebrate world MS day itself with the MS Society (MSSL).



Kenya: The Kenyan MS Society is planning a social dinner where they will celebrate their 3 year anniversary. One of their members will be giving a talk on MS and it’s many challenges one of which is accessibility. They have invited the media and a representative from the National Council of People with Disabilities.

Kuwait: The Kuwait MS Association celebrated World MS Day on May 17 where they will be giving lectures about MS and distributing brochures. They also organised entertainment activities. You can view their photos here.

Libya: An awareness program about MS will go out on the Fazan TC channel on the 19th of May. There will also be an educational session about MS at the Medical Sciences Institute in Tripoli on the 22nd of May. On the 24th of May there will be an awareness campaign at El Shohada Square in Tripoli.

Luxembourg: MS-Luxembourg will be holding a press conference and advertising in cinemas, TV and newspapers. They will be giving examples of difficulties in accessing public buildings, cultural events, problems for family members of people with MS, barriers facing people in a wheelchair and barriers to employment.

Malaysia: Persatuan Multiple Sklerosis Malaysia are holding an MS walk for World MS Day. They will be asking their government to subsidise medication for MS patients as well as raising awareness of MS. The Penang MS Support Group will be celebrating with MS patients on the 8th of June.

Malta: The Maltese MS society is organising a fundraising walk on Sat 31st May for World MS Day. They have also set up a number where people can donate via SMS.

Mexico: The Mexican MS society will hold their spring meeting around World MS Day, they are also planning a publicity event and a balloon release.

Montenegro: In Montenegro the MS society will releasing a new book called ‘My Mother has got MS’, they will be giving a copy to all members with children aged 5-15.

Morocco: AMMASEP (Moroccan Association for People Affected by MS) will be holding conferences, consultations and running information stands in the street. They will be talking specifically about problems with accessibility and they’re hoping to get TV coverage.

Netherlands: Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands will attend World MS Day at the Dutch MS Research Foundation where experts and people with MS will explore obstacles and solutions in research, care and information-provision about MS. There she will receive the first Dutch edition of the International Atlas of MS.

The Olympic medal winning Dutch speed skaters (and twin brothers) Michel and Ronald Mulder will be opening the stock exchange to mark the day and popular Dutch musician Wolter Kroes will be undertaking a 24 hour tour by train where he will perform a concert in all 12 Dutch provinces.

New Zealand: The MS Society of New Zealand will be promoting the One Day campaign online and by asking their contacts to share a One Day wish.

Norway: MS Forbundet will be sending out a press release about access to treatment in Norway. They will also promoting the One Day campaign campaign and asking their members and contacts to share a One day wish.

Pakistan: The Pakistani Neurological Awareness and Research Foundation (NARF) is holding an awareness programme featuring experts and health care professionals. The day is aimed at MS patients, carers, trainee doctors, and the media.

Paraguay: The Paraguayan Multiple Sclerosis Society will hold a workshop for updating patients on management of MS. There will also be an exhibition of paintings and sculptures made ​​by MS patients, participation in TV and Radio program on MS and the 30th Meeting  of the society on Health Park where there will be an artistic act with patients.

Peru: The patients organisation in Peru will be sharing a lunch with their members who have MS as well as volunteers and families. Asociación Hecho Con Amor is  organizing a walk around a park in on May 31 2014 – in the morning.  The event will take place at Parque Reducto No. 02 at Miraflores District, Lima – Peru.

Poland: The Polish MS Society (PTSR) are organising a press conference and debate on access to treatment and rehabilitation for people with MS. They will also launch the “MS – fight for yourself” video campaign, which will go out on TV in Poland.

Portugal: Sociedade Portuguesa de Esclerose have arranged events in Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra, Leiria, and Faro. Events include shared meals with MS patients and families, fundraising, exercise classes and music.

Puerto Rico: Fundación de Esclerosis Múltiple de Puerto Rico will be illuminate the Capitol building as well as other important buildings in the island. They are selling MS awareness t-shirts and motivating the general public to dress in orange for World MS Day in support of all MS patients, their families and caregivers.

Russia: The All-Russian MS society has already started celebrating World MS Day. An informational MS day within the WMSD frames was conducted in the Taganrog city library with medical and legal issues raised there with a pizza continuation in the library green yard. About 30 People with MS enjoyed it and completed the phrase ‘One day…’: More such events are planned across the country for 28 May.

Another event for World MS Day is the Fourth All-Russian Thematic Rally which is currently going on in the State Facility for rehabilitation of young disabled people ‘Bereza’ in the city of Samara. This 3-week rally is always full of, beyond rehabilitation, information and recreation sessions, outings, and it falls on the run-up to and WMSD itself again.

Saudi Arabia: The Saudi MS Support Group is organising an educational and awareness raising day on 29 May in Dammam city in collaboration with King Fahad Specialised Hospital. They are also celebrating World MS Day at the Continental Hotel in Riyadah city.

Spain: Asociación Española de Esclerosis Múltiple is forming a human chain around large Spanish cities to raise awareness of MS, as well as allowing people to join a virtual chain on their website. They are also promoting the One Day message via social media and working together with  the Spanish Federation for the fight against Multiple Sclerosis (FELEM) to send out a press release to promote their shared cause.

Sri Lanka: The MS Association of Sri Lanka will be celebrating World MS day with a Patients meeting on the 31st of May where they will launch a new project.  “To enhance the quality of life of MS patients by providing assistance with infrastructure development of patients homes, with cost of medication, physiotherapy and assistance with care giving. Priority will be given to the infrastructure development aspect of this project being mainly, establishing railings, building of ramps, providing equipment – wheel chairs, commode wheel chairs, elbow crutches, air mattresses, beds.”  The chief guest will be Dr. Lalith Wijerathne, Consultant – rehabilitation. It will be followed by fellowship and lunch.

On the June 6 there will be a meeting with the Minister of Health to discuss the issues relating to MS patients and creating awareness. The Association will be asking the government to assist low income patients by providing interferon and other drugs free of charge through National Hospitals in Sri Lanka.

Sweden: Neuroförbundet are running two different campaigns: “I have MS ” which addresses decision makers with the facts about the inequality of access to MS diagnosis and treatment in Sweden; and MS – koll which is a site where people can test their knowledge about MS and learn more.

Switzerland:  The Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Society are running a campaign called ‘Show heart for people with MS’ on their website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. People will be asked to upload pictures featuring a heart between May 12 and 28. For every photo uploaded or tagged with #zeigeHerz, #sepencoeur and #uncuoreper sponsors will make a donation of 2CF (Swiss Francs).

The Swiss campaign 'Have a heart'

The Swiss campaign ‘Have a heart’

Tunisia: This year the Tunisian Association of Patients of Multiple Sclerosis are holding a large fundraising event to help support their work. They will have a mass cycling event as well as a gala dinner and an auction.

Turkish footballers support World MS Day

Turkish footballers support World MS Day

Turkey: The MS Society of Turkey have been focusing on raising awareness this World MS Day. They’ve had 400 billboards posted across Istanbul featuring famous footballers using the motto  “I Know what MS is”.   On May 25 they will hold their annual MS meeting at Istanbul Hilton Hotel.  They will also be celebrating their 25th anniversary and will be joined by celebrities as well as the leading neurologists of Turkey. On June 8  they will hold a brunch and an awards ceremony of paintings by children whose parents are MS’ers.  MS’ers will also participate in a game called bocchia which they enjoy a lot.

UAE: A conference for MS patients and experts will take place on May 23 at the Intercontinental hotel in Abu Dhabi.

UK: The UK MS Society will be continuing to promote their ‘Treat me right‘ campaign for fair and equal access to the right treatments at the right time for people with MS.

Positive About MS & Salford MS Society are holding an event at Salford Royal Hospital on World MS Day where they will be asking member of the public to share their wish on posters. In Dundee Visual Artist Kirsty Stevens has teamed up with the UK MS society to arrange a silent auction and information evening.  Shift.ms is releasing a new short film on World MS Day to follow on from ‘Gallop’ and ‘Belong’. The film will focus on Work & MS.

USA: The National MS Society in the USA is planning online and offline activities on a national level and across their 40 local chapters. There are many ‘Walks’, ‘Bike’ and advocacy events taking place. Local chapters will also look at promote access-related initiatives in their communities.

Yemen: Activities and events will be carried out in the city of Aden. The official event will be on 28 May at the medical college at Khour Miksar city, Aden. On 29 May awareness raising events will be organised in Aden complex mall.

These are just some of the activities which will be taking place around the world, hopefully they’ve inspired you.

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