It's always a great question - what are our elected officials back in Washington DC doing about MS? I'm about to find out as I join other MS Activists from Alaska, Montana, and around the country for the Society's annual Public Policy Conference next week. We will be lobbying members of Congress asking for additional funding for MS research and respite help for caregivers. Members of Congress have been responsive in the past - most of Washington's delegation for example, are members of the MS Caucus, dedicated to raising awareness of MS in Congress. In Alaska, Senator Murkowski has supported efforts to create an MS registry and in Montana, Senator Tester stopped by the 2011 Bike MS. It's great to see elected officials responsive to the needs of their constituents.
We all want more research to stop disease progression, restore function, and end MS forever and the federal government is by far the largest funder of MS research. We understand the need to get a handle on the deficit, but we can't do that by ignoring the pressing needs of the MS community and our efforts to find a cure for MS. So, we'll be asking members of Congress to think about the MS community when they create their budget.
To learn more about the Public Policy Conference, check out the National MS Society's blog where you can get regular updates all next week.