Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Taking Action at Walk MS

This spring, at several Walk MS locations in Washington, participants took a moment to sign letters to their members of Congress asking for support for two important issues impacting the MS community:

  • The Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act (H.R. 1516) streamlines access to individually configured products like manual and power wheelchairs and seating and positioning systems. These medically necessary products are vital to helping people with more severe disabilities including progressed MS—remain independent, active members of their community.
  • The Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act (H.R. 292) fills a research hole by creating a data collection system that will help identify risk factors for developing neurological diseases, which could one day lead to a cure.

Collectively, 62 walk participants composed letters—which we then scanned and emailed to their members of Congress. These letters were delivered to six Congressional offices on behalf of the MS community. Thank you for making your voices heard!

Update: In July 2015, thanks in part to the work of MS activists, H.R. 292 passed the House as part of the larger 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6). The next step is for the Senate to act, which is not expected until this fall. The Society will continue to advocate for this legislation then.

If you’re ready to support issues that affect the MS community, take action now! Ask your member of Congress to protect access to complex rehabilitation technology and pledge your support to the ADA.

Congressman Kilmer Participates in Walk MS: Bainbridge Island
Rep. Derek Kilmer (center) and Walk MS participants
We were very pleased to have Congressman Derek Kilmer participate in Walk MS: Bainbridge Island this year. 

Congressman Kilmer has demonstrated his ongoing commitment to issues that affect the MS community by supporting robust research funding for the National Institutes of Health, as well as respite programs to support family caregivers. He and his staff regularly meet with MS activists to discuss the needs of the MS community—from research funding to access to treatment. (Here is a blog post from 2013 with a great update from Rep. Kilmer on his visit with some MS activists on Bainbridge Island.) 

Thank you, Congressman Kilmer, for being a part of the movement to end MS!