WalkMS 2016 – Denver

538  WalkMS 2016
Early morning prep on event day in the meadow to the west of the Museum.

For the 3rd year in a row, 70/Four70 staffed a men’s group information table at WalkMS on Saturday, April 30, 2016 in Denver’s City Park.

The event was held on a cold and lightly snowing spring morning however, spirits were still up-beat and energetic.  Musician and performer, David Osmond (son of Alan) of the famous entertainment family, sang an inspiring rendition of the National Anthem before the first RunMS Denver 5K.  The run was the first ever to kick-off the WalkMS festivities in Denver.

Ending multiple sclerosis for good will take all of us. It’s why WalkMS matters so much.  And it’s why you matter so much.  WalkMS helps us team up with friends, loved ones and co-workers to change the world for everyone affected by MS.  Together, we become a powerful force.  And with every step we take, every dollar we raise . . . we’re that much closer. Together, we will end MS forever.”

Thank you to all who participated by running, walking, fundraising, donating, and/or volunteering in the quest to find the cure for MS.

Pictured below are three members of the
70/Four70 MS Men’s Group:

535 WalkMS 2016 - Efraim Rivera-George Fischer-Kirk Williams
E. Rivera, G. Fischer, K. Williams

MS Elevation Conference 2016

It is time in the Rocky Mountains for a new event specifically for Men with MS.

Sponsored by the CO-WY Chapter of the National MS Society, Dave Pflueger, 2016 Men’s MS Event Chairman, is in the midst of planning just such an event along with a number of men who also have MS (multiple sclerosis) from several MS Mens groups.

With the working title, “MSElevation Conference,” the event will feature discussions of the status of MS treatments and impacts of MS specifically on men who have multiple sclerosis.

Why an event specifically for men with MS?

Men view and cope with MS differently than women: The Mars & Venus disparity.  According to the National MS Society, “MS is at least two to three times more common in women than in men, suggesting that hormones may also play a significant role in determining susceptibility to MS.  And some recent studies have suggested that the female to male ratio may be as high as three or four to one.”  [Ref Summarizing epidemiological estimates] Since women comprise the majority of people who have MS, it is understandable that few events focus on the impact of the disease on men with MS.

Scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2016, at Coors Field, in Denver, Colorado, the keynote speaker and further details will be announced in the near future.

Pflueger personally raised substantial “seed” money to help fund this 2016 event and was also a member of the planning committee for the 2012 event.

For more information, contact the Colorado-Wyoming National Multiple Sclerosis Society by phoning (303) 698-7400 or emailing co-wyreceptionist@nmss.org


HISTORY:
The last such event was held on September 29, 2012.  It too, was sponsored by the CO-WY Chapter of the National MS Society and planned by its Denver MS Mens Group.  Called “Kicking at the Uprights: the Male MS Challenge,” the event was held in the press room of Sports Authority Field at Mile High (home of the Denver Broncos) and attendance was at full capacity.

Renowned sports psychology consultant, Jack Llewellyn, PhD, was the 2012 event’s keynote speaker.  Llewellyn gained national acclaim as instrumental in turning around the 1991 season and career of Cy Young Award-winning pitcher, John Smoltz, of the Atlanta Braves.  Llewellyn also has MS and helps people correctly focus on the right processes to reach goals, thrive on stress, and recover quickly from adversity in order to become top performers.

Aging with MS: What to expect

The article below is from the NMSS on-line magazine, Momentum.

As people who live with MS age, they may find its effects changing, particularly if they’ve been living with the disease for decades. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether changing symptoms are the result of progression or normal aging. This article helps readers better evaluate the situation—and get appropriate treatment.

Source: Aging with MS – Momentum Magazine Online

Jekyll and Hyde

Can an MS exacerbation have no obvious physical component with its only apparent impact being on cognitioJeckyll & Hyden and behavior? Anecdotally the answer seems to be “yes.”

The signature impact of multiple sclerosis is its unpredictability and broad range of potential symptoms. Per the National Institutes of Health (NIH): “A small number of those with MS will have a mild course with little to no disability, while another smaller group will have a steadily worsening disease that leads to increased disability over time. Most people with MS, however, will have short periods of symptoms followed by long stretches of relative relief, with partial or full recovery. There is no way to predict, [especially] at the beginning, how an individual person’s disease will progress.”

A recent exacerbation seemed to only affect my cognition and behavior rather than cause any outward physical symptoms. My behavior was disturbing and definitely not how I had ever handled difficult and stressful situations. It was probably triggered by significant interaction with our insurance company, bank, and contractors to repair substantial hail damage.

For a time, my personality dramatically changed from my consistent and life-long diplomatic nurturing personality into an angry confrontational person. The change was similar to turning on a fluorescent light: the light slowly becomes brighter and brighter. In the case of this exacerbation, this behavioral response became more and more frequent until it was the only way I responded! I did not recognize the change until I was well into being a disagreeable ogre. I would often realize I was exhibiting uninhibited and inadvisable behavior but could not help it. If I had been asked if I’d like a cup of coffee, my normal self would have responded “Yes, thank you” or “No, thank you.” However, during the apparent exacerbation, I would probably respond with obvious irritation “What makes you think I want a cup of coffee?!” Also see Who the Heck is this Guy?!

After a few months of this uncontrolled antagonism, suspicion and resentment, I woke up one day to the realization that I was not upset. In fact, “everything was rosy.” I was again unconsciously and naturally behaving in a civilized and congenial way. The way I had always been prior to the “exacerbation.”  My return to my previous and more agreeable behavior was similar to turning the light off: no delay. The light turned off instantaneously and my personality was back to normal.  My RRMS had gone into a stage of remission.

Colorado’s Xcel Energy Medical Exemption Program 2015

The 2015 Colorado Medical Exemption Program (CMEP) is underway and completed applications are due by May 1, 2015. CMEP is a special energy-assistance program offered by Xcel Energy and overseen by the National MS Society CO-WY Chapter.

As an exemption from Xcel’s Tiered Electricity Summer Rates, CMEP is designed to help reduce summer electricity bills for Colorado’s Xcel Energy electricity customers who use life support equipment or have a medical condition that requires a high usage of electrical power.  Click here for the online application.

Spread the word to Colorado friends and family who are service customers of Xcel Energy and who may be interested in or benefit from this program. The Chapter helped over 550 households last year and the goal is to increase the number of households helped by 200.  Click here for an information sheet on the program.

For more information, please contact Tim Bergman (303) 698-5409 or Caitlin Westerson (303) 698-5435.

Chronic Disease Awareness Day at the Capitol 2015

Early in the morning of March 5, 2015, advocates, friends, family and leaders gathered in the Old Supreme Court Chambers at the Colorado State Capitol building for “Chronic Disease Awareness Day at the Capitol.”  Featured speakers were:

  1. Carrie Nolan, President of the CO-WY Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
  2. Candace DeMatteis, Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.
  3. Dr. Adam Atherly, University of Colorado School of Public Health.
  4. Lonnie and Jan McIntrosh, Colorado Chapter – Alzheimer’s Association.
  5. Connie Carpenter Phinney of the Davis Phinney Foundation and an Olympic Champion.
Senator Linda Newell, Kirk, Carrie Nolan, NMSS
(L to R) State Senator Linda Newell, Kirk P. Williams ~ MS Advocate, Carrie Nolan ~ NMSS Chapter President, in the Senate Chambers of the Colorado State Capitol building during Chronic Disease Awareness Day at the Capitol, 2015.

The attendees then gathered in the Senate Chambers where State Senator Linda Newell (State Senate District 26) made a tribute to Chronic Disease organizations and sufferers.

Chronic Care Collaborative member organizations:

  • Alzheimer’s Association, Colorado Chapter
  • American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
  • American Diabetes Association
  • American Heart Association
  • American Liver Foundation- Rocky Mountain Division
  • American Lung Association of Colorado
  • Arthritis Foundation Rocky Mountain Chapter
  • Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado
  • Can Do Multiple Sclerosis
  • Colorado AIDS Project
  • Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved
  • Colorado Gerontological Society
  • Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance
  • Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, Rocky Mountain Chapter
  • Easter Seals Colorado
  • Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado
  • Hep C Connection
  • Huntington’s Disease Society of America, Rocky Mountain Chapter
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Rocky Mountain Chapter
  • Lupus Foundation of Colorado
  • March of Dimes, Colorado Chapter
  • Mental Health America of Colorado
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association
  • NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Colorado
  • National Hemophilia Foundation, Colorado Chapter
  • National Kidney Foundation of Colorado, Montana and Wyoming
  • National MS Society, Colorado-Wyoming Chapter
  • Parkinson Association of the Rockies
  • THRIVE: The Persons Living with HIV/AIDS Initiative of Colorado
  • Rocky Mountain MS Center
  • Rocky Mountain Stroke Center