Governor Spitzer and Lieutenant Governor Paterson Proclaim March 10-17 Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week

Press Release

Date: March 10, 2008


Governor Eliot Spitzer and Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson today proclaimed March 10-17 Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week, honoring the more than 28,000 New Yorkers who live with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and the families, caretakers, and advocates who support them. The Empire State Building will be flooded in orange light this evening in honor of the week.

"MS Awareness Week is a national campaign to alert the world to the challenges of this unpredictable disease," said Governor Spitzer. "MS strikes Americans just when they are raising their families and building their careers. It is staggering to confront the fact that someone is diagnosed with MS every hour and devastating to realize that there is no known cause or cure. MS places tremendous challenges not only on the lives of the 28,000 New Yorkers and 400,000 Americans diagnosed with MS, but also on their friends, family and caregivers."

MS Awareness Week will feature hundreds of activities and programs designed to spread awareness of MS, educate people in all stages of diagnosis, and engage their support and participation. There will also be programs designed to help clients manage the specific symptoms of MS, strategies to help clients obtain better medical care and opportunities for volunteers to become engaged with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS).

Approximately 400,000 Americans between the ages of 20 and 50 are diagnosed with MS, making it the number one disabler of young adults. Health care costs can total more than $35,000 per year and exceed $2.2 million over the lifetime of a person living with MS. To learn more about MS or to join the movement to rid the world of this disease, please call 1-800-FIGHTMS or visit

Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson said: "The National MS Society - and its four chapters in New York State - is to be commended for its commitment to addressing the challenges of each person with MS and working toward a world free of multiple sclerosis. New York State is committed to eradicating all auto-immune and neurological conditions and provides public funding to support further research and medical treatment of those who suffer from them."

State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., said: "We applaud the National MS Society as they reach out to raise awareness of this unpredictable, incurable and disabling disease of the central nervous system. MS Awareness Week is an opportunity for all New Yorkers to better understand the complexities of a disease that strikes someone every hour of every day. Significant advances have been made in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, such as new medications and treatments which may improve the quality of life for those afflicted. MS Awareness Week points to the importance of the need to continue and expand essential treatment and support services in our communities to those living with this disease and their families."

Randal Simonetti, President and CEO of the NMSS Upstate New York Chapter, said: "MS Awareness Week creates an unlimited opportunity to inform New Yorkers about the challenges MS clients and their families face living with this debilitating disease. We invite all those who want to do something about this disease to take action now by participating in a MS fundraising event."

Ruth Brenner, Chapter President of the New York City Chapter of the NMSS, said: "We are committed to supporting critical research and providing hundreds of comprehensive programs and support services to help the more than 7,000 people in New York City living with MS continue to move their lives forward. We are thrilled Governor Spitzer has joined the movement and is encouraging New Yorkers to help create a world free of MS."