How can you help?
MS (Multiple Sclerosis) awareness week and cystic fibrosis week provide great opportunities to help people across the UK understand what it mean to have MS and Cystic fibrosis and how people with the illness can cope through daily life. This week also offers a chance for the public to understand what it means to have the illness and how people with the illness manage.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition that affects around 100,000 people in the UK. It is one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). The disease is more common in women than men with a ratio of 2 men to 3 women. There is yet to be a cure found for the disease but most of the symptoms can be successfully managed and treated, although the biggest effect of MS is that it significantly affects life span. Some of the most common, early symptoms of MS are:
- Loss of balance
- Weakness in one or more limbs
- Blurred or double vision
Some of the less common symptoms include:
- Slurred speech
- sudden onset of paralysis
- Lack of coordination
- Cognitive difficulties
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is one of the UK’s most common life threatening inherited diseases. Unlike Multiple Sclerosis, CF is caused by a faulty gene that controls the movement of salt and water in and out of the cells in the body. It affects the internal organs, mainly the lungs and digestive system, by clogging them with thick mucus. This makes it hard to breathe and digest food.
Over 9,000 people in the UK suffer with CF, however over 2 million people carry the faulty gene, which is around 1 in every 25 people. As yet, a cure hasn’t been developed to solve the faulty gene; however, with regular treatments such as physiotherapy, exercise, medication and nutrition, people with cystic fibrosis can live a happy, healthy life. Like MS, CF can also affect life span, currently over half of the CF population will live past 41 years of age, and improvement in treatments mean a babies born today are expected to live even longer.
There are a number of opportunities to get involved during MS awareness & Cystic Fibrosis week which will benefit the trusts. The trusts offer the opportunity to help everyone involved understand the impact that such conditions and diseases have on their sufferers. There are simple ways in which you can be involved, not only this week; but for the future too. It doesn’t have to take up all of your time helping out with others, an hour a week being involved with your local trust can make a huge difference. How about getting your work colleagues involved in raising money this week for the good causes, from a cake stall to a raffle, every little helps with advances in finding a cure.
Cystic Fibrosis week will see two huge skydive events; with over 100 participants in addition a national Big Cake Bake will be hosted. This week, people will attempt to achieve world records on space hoppers; and be given the opportunity to campaign against unfair prescription charges for CF patients.
To help raise awareness for MS there will be opportunities for the public to give talks about their experiences of MS, to put up posters in your local area, write letters to your local newspaper to try get some coverage, set up an information stand or hold an information event. There is always something you can do to help others and what better way than to be involved in a fantastic awareness week for 2 great causes.
To find out more information regarding the awareness weeks for both Cystic Fibrosis and Multiple Sclerosis, visit their websites:
Multiple Sclerosis: http://www.mstrust.org.uk/msawareness/
Cystic Fibrosis: http://www.cftrust.org.uk/
Along with campaigning and publicising this week’s event, there are other ways to create awareness for sufferers of different medical conditions, such as Cystic Fibrosis and Multiple Sclerosis. Specifically designed I.D bands and S.O.S Talisman’s will inform medical staff in the event of an emergency. Make sure you are not one of the thousands of people every year left with serious side effects due to the lack of medical information being conveyed to emergency staff in those vital minutes. Visit The I.D Band Company for a full range of Medical Bracelets, Necklaces, kit bags and Item Belts, aimed specifically at people with serious medical conditions.