I rise on behalf of the Liberal caucus and the Official Opposition to join my colleagues in the Legislature to recognize Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month.
There is still much we do not know about MS. Approximately 200 Yukoners live with the disease, and although the disease has been with us for years, there is no known cause and there is no known cure. The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada states that it is often thought to be an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. It attacks that protective covering of the nerves — the myelin — causing inflammation and often damaging the myelin.
If the damage to myelin is slight, nerve impulses travel with minor interruptions; however, if the damage is heavy and if scar tissue replaces the myelination, then impulses can be completely disrupted and the nerve fibres themselves can be damaged. Its symptoms can cause extreme fatigue, lack of coordination, weakness, tingling, impaired sensations, visual problems, bladder problems, cognitive impairments and mood changes.
Over the next month, carnations will be seen around town, a symbol of hope in the quest to find a cure. The MS Carnation Campaign raises awareness and much-needed funds for research of this debilitating disease. Carnations are usually sold over the Mother’s Day weekend, because an unfair share of women have historically battled this disease. New medical advances continue to provide renewed hope for those with the disease and, maybe one day, a cure.
I would like to take the opportunity at this time, Mr. Speaker, to thank the MS Society of Canada and the Yukon’s local division for the work the work that they do, as well as the volunteers who help organize the activities for MS Awareness Month and their countless hours and support they provide for those living with multiple sclerosis. These dedicated volunteers have, once again, organized the Whitehorse MS walk, which will be held at noon, May 31, at Copper Ridge Place. Every step matters for those with MS.
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