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MS Ireland Mid West goes online for World MS Day 2020 #Connections

World MS Day 2020 will take place Saturday, May 30th to raise awareness and support people living with MS.

MS Ireland Mid West goes online for World MS Day 2020 #Connections

Multiple Sclerosis Ireland is pleased to announce that World MS Day 2020 will take place Saturday, May 30th to raise awareness and support people living with MS. MS is the most common debilitating neurological condition affecting young adults in Ireland. The theme of World MS Day this year is ‘connections’ and the campaign is about challenging social barriers and stigma that can leave people affected by MS feeling lonely and isolated.

In the Mid West, we will be hosting online events from 25-29th May to encourage people to connect. Since the onset of the COVID 19 emergency, the Mid West team have worked to shift their service delivery model online. They were quick to continue to offer physiotherapist-led group exercise and other peer support groups online. According to Professor Susan Coote, neurophysiotherapist, ‘…being physically active is important for both physical and mental health for people with MS, and it is even more important now during the COVID crisis. We have moved MS Ireland’s exercise classes online and the response has been really positive, people benefit from the improvement in symptoms that exercise brings, and also from the social support that these online classes provide’.

To encourage online connections MS Ireland in the Mid West will be hosting a webinar with Conor Hartigan, Regional Assistive Technology Coordinator from the University of Limerick. The title of the webinar is ‘Assistive Technology to support Education & Daily Living’ at 10am on Monday 25th May. We will also be hosting webinar entitled ‘Technology to enhance treatment for people with MS’ on Friday 29th of May at 11am. The facilitator of the event is Dr Marcin Uszynski, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist from Lyncare.

Aside from these webinars we will continue to host our online guided meditation on Wednesday afternoons, a writing group and our virtual ‘time to chat’ group. According to Jane, a person attending these programmes, ‘its good to take a bit of time out for myself to link with others that have MS too. One of the upsides is that I don’t have to plan my journey to get to a session, I just have to open the laptop and log in. All of the sessions are facilitated using the online platform Zoom. Mary McCusker and John MacDonald, MS Ireland Regional Community Workers have been working with the MS community to support them to access these online supports.

Virtual Balloon Race 2020, #9000balloons

World MS Day 2020 is set to be a very different affair to previous years. The international day of awareness and fundraising is met with a whole new set of challenges this year. Now, more than ever the MS community need support and advice. 

In light of this, MS Ireland decided that this year’s World MS Day should go off with a BANG! (Virtually). There are over 9,000 people in Ireland living with MS and so we are launching a Virtual Balloon Race campaign. Using algorithms, live weather systems, and Google maps, our virtual balloon racing platform allows balloons to behave, fly, and burst just like real balloons. The balloons will be virtually launched from our Care Centre in Bushy Park on 30th May at 12.00 noon. For more information on the MS Ireland Virtual Balloon Race campaign, click here 

For more information please contact Mary McCusker [email protected]/ 086 144 8767 

For more information on the MS Ireland, click here

For more stories on MS Ireland Mid West, click here

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.