How many of you loyal "Cheese" readers are aware next Monday, March 5th, begins the nation's observation of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week? Hmmm...just as I thought. I guess this means there will be no parade in my (or your) honor and no flowers or chocolates on my desk! LOL
Maybe, had the National MS Society or one of it's partners teamed up with those Breast Cancer Awareness MONTH people (yes, the boobs DO get a full month of "awareness"), more of the general public might KNOW about our quiet, little week of "awareness". Perhaps in October, the BCA public relations people might tack on a little diddy about OUR week in March directly into THEIR ads. It could go something like this: "I Run For Life (the breast cancer awareness slogan) and I Walk For MS...Because 40 Percent of Those With MS CAN'T Run." Whaddaya think?!?
I'll jump off my soap box on this one, because I've already lamented about my thoughts regarding MS Awareness back in October, 2006 (see Where's MY Parade?!?... ), and the wonderful but somewhat too advertised Breast Cancer Awareness Month (seriously, girls...it was JUST a comparison!). And I've already WHINED about our (Mser's) lack of collective exposure in the media.
Every year, I donate a small portion of my personal funds to the MS Society because I can...I am employed and I make a decent salary, unlike many people with MS, who are no longer able to work. Every year, I order a few dozen of the MS Bands Of Hope (although admittedly this year, I just did it today!) and I randomly distribute them wherever I see fit...this makes me "feel" good...I am allowed to have a deluded sense of participation in "the cause".
But lately, I've had this nagging sense of guilt in the pit of my gut about my "awareness" of MS. Yes, it IS true...I HAVE MS...what more "awareness" do I need?!? LOL And I write this trite and trivial blog about MS...I mean, geez! What more could MS WANT from me?!? I have to WORK full time, support my OWN "cause", and try to manage my fatigue to get by...surely MS can figure out I don't have the time or the energy to DONATE more or VOLUNTEER?!?
But, still it nags me. I'm not exactly certain what may unfold in my own process of "Raising MS Awareness" this year. I am NOT one who enjoys doing anything BIG...I am more of a behind-the-scenes type of donor/volunteer. I like to organize things and then let someone ELSE take over (and do the work!)...I like to give directly where I can see immediate results of my giving (because I lack the attention span to wait!). This complicates even the simplest of volunteer work, such as stuffing envelopes at my local MS Chapter! LOL
I hope you will make effort this year and next week to "Raise MS Awareness" in any ways you can...it can be as simple as talking to someone about YOUR experiences (or if you are reading this, Mr. Gates, donating large portions of your mega bucks to MS research is a wonderful START!). Whatever you choose to do next week starting March 5th, know that you are NOT alone in your struggles OR your "cause"...and know that YOU make a difference!
And for the rest of you local yahoo's reading "Cheese"...I prefer salmon-colored roses and Godiva chocolates if you MUST bring me something in honor of MY MS Awareness Week! LOL