MS awareness week aims to shares stories of people with the disease

TULSA, Okla. — Nearly 100 million Americans are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), including over 5 thousand Oklahomans.

MS is a degenerative disease that impacts the central nervous system that controls everything we do.

Christie Eckler, the south central executive director of the MS Society, joined FOX23 live for MS Awareness Week.

“A lot of people go years without being diagnosed and they really have to become they’re own advocate,” said Eckler. “So the National MS Society looks to amplify the stories of people with MS to raise that awareness.”

According to the National MS Society, the exact cause of MS is unknown, but it is known that something triggers the immune system to attack the brain and spinal cord.

The resulting damage to nerve fibers disrupts signals to and from the brain, that causes unpredictable symptoms like numbness, tingling, mood changes, memory problems, pain, fatigue, blindness or paralysis.

Eckler said one of her colleagues testified in front of U.S. Senate this week on behalf of MS awareness and for drug reform and prescription medications.

“Until we know what the cure is for MS, we won’t stop,” said Eckler.

Tulsa is hosting a walk to benefit to fund research for a cure for MS. It’s scheduled for April 30 at the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks.

To register, go to Walk MS and search for Tulsa under “Find Your Walk”.