Sunday, September 28, 2014

MS is a Global Disease

After a sojourn to other topics on my social media outlets (complaining about the NFL's wimpy response to domestic violence, getting inspiration from Scotland's vote on independence, and being disappointed that the Asian Games in South Korea would not allow Muslim women to play basketball wearing their headscarves), I feel that I will go back to writing about Multiple Sclerosis for a little while.

It's not that those other topics are not important; to the contrary, they are very important.
Too important.  Globally important.  I like being an informed citizen of the globe, I feel that's important.  It makes me feel less lonely, but at the same time, it makes me feel even more helpless.  I can't fix things in my own backyard, so how can I fix things in South Korea?  

Well, maybe I don't have to.  Maybe I can just listen, and I can bear witness to inequalities. I can share the stories.  

MS is a global disease, and the 2.3 million people in the world (2013) with MS probably have similar stories to mine, similar problems, similar accomplishments, similar fears. But we don't share the same access to resources, doctors, medications.  

The MS International Foundation's 2013 Atlas of MS found that there are inequalities of access to disease modifying therapies between high-income and low-income countries.  One in five countries has no MS support organization.  There are more interesting facts in the Atlas of MS Database, and I suggest you check it out at http://www.atlasofms.org/.    

Globally, people with MS share the same disease, but we experience it differently. We don't all share the same resources or support, but probably share the same fears.  Regardless, we all share one global story.  

Let's not be afraid to be a global citizen. Just start by listening.

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