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Home > MSAA Publications > The Motivator > The Motivator: Winter/Spring 2009 > Program Notes

Program Notes

"... It's Good to Know - You've Got a Friend." MSAA's Networking Program

You may recognize this as a lyric from the famous James Taylor song, but it also reflects the feelings of many clients who participate in the MSAA Networking Program. One such person is Michelle from Maine; she is married, a mother of four young children, and living with MS since 2007.

"It's nice to correspond with people who have MS and truly understand what you're going though," says Michelle. "When I joined the Networking Program, I wasn't sure what to expect. But, I was happy that people emailed me back and we 'talked' about medicines, symptoms, diet, exercise, how to stay at my job...really all kinds of things."

Revised last year to operate from the MSAA website, www.mymsaa.org, the Networking Program is an online community of individuals with multiple sclerosis and their care partners, who are interested in finding peer support and corresponding through email exchange. Clients have the opportunity to post information about them in the directory and email other members through a number of searchable categories. Access to the directory is password protected and made available once registration is approved.

As described by Michelle and expressed to MSAA by many, participants in the program find it very helpful and reassuring to link up with others who are affected by MS and face similar challenges. Additionally, this online format allows people to participate from their home around a schedule that best fits their lifestyle. Using email correspondence is especially helpful for those who are unable to attend traditional support group meetings but still want to stay connected to the MS community.

"Living in rural Maine, I find it very convenient to sit at home and stay in touch without traveling long distances," notes Michelle. "Plus, you don't have to worry about how you look when you're in front of the computer."

Recently Michelle made a decision to suspend her return to school, understanding that something had to give between work and her family. With this slight break in her schedule, she plans to spend more time "networking" with her friends in the program.

"So far, the feedback has been positive," said Michelle. "Whether it's the Networking Program or other websites, there's helpful information out there. I encourage everyone to go out and get it."

MSAA welcomes new members to the Networking Program. To learn more or register, log onto www.mymsaa.org/ programs or contact Peter Damiri at (800) 532-7667, extension 109.

Two MSAA Programs Now Available as a Free DVD Set

Among the 16 videos now posted on MSAA's website, www.mymsaa.org, two programs have been made available as a free, two-DVD set. An Introduction to Multiple Sclerosis and Talking with Your Children about Multiple Sclerosis: A Place to Begin are ideal resources for newly diagnosed clients or parents ready to have this important conversation with family members.

An Introduction to Multiple Sclerosis is a four-part video featuring comprehensive explanations of the disease, treatments, and management techniques through graphic animations and interviews with neurologist Dr. Joanna Cooper; MS certified nurse Lynn Jehle; and several MS patients who recall their physical and emotional adjustments to their diagnosis. Talking with Your Children about Multiple Sclerosis: A Place to Begin features three families who have a parent with MS, with touching interviews from both the children and the parents on how they talk about, adjust to, and live with MS on a daily basis.

Both videos include Spanish translations. To receive your free DVD set, please go to www.mymsaa.org/programs/videos/ and select the order form below either program. If you're unable to order online, please call (800) 532-7667, extension 129 and leave your complete name and mailing address.

This program is made possible through the generous support of Teva Neuroscience and produced by Direct Health Media.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 January 2013 16:57