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Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA)
The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a comprehensive, not-for-profit, charitable service agency that most specifically helps people, their friends, their families, and society in general to address the day-to-day needs of those with MS. It also conceives, builds, and maintains barrier-free housing complexes open to all disabled people and is involved in programs and research that affect all with neurological disorders. It is an independent national and organization with corporate headquarters in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, regional headquarters strategically placed throughout the United States.

MSAA was founded by John Hodson, Sr. and his late wife, Ruth Hodson, who fought MS for nearly half a century. It was chartered in New Jersey on June 6, 1970 and has many program, research, and publication facets, many of which date back to the organization’s beginnings. The agency specializes in and has developed an international reputation for direct one-on-one client services. These take the form of counseling, by peers and professionals; client meetings; social gatherings, in and outside MSAA centers; an extensive equipment loan program that distributes wheelchairs, walkers, canes, crutches, cool suits, scooters and other therapeutic paraphernalia throughout the world; free MRI testing to quickly and more accurately diagnose MS; a ramp building program; client-to-client cooperation, including visitation and ‘buddy’ programs; family togetherness events that help maintain the bond between MS patients and families; and various motivational programs that encourage constituents to enjoy life to the fullest possible extent and to participate as much as possible in the widest of worlds.

In the 1980’s, MSAA embarked with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on an ambitious program of building barrier-free housing for the disabled.

In the 1990’s, MSAA pioneered and financed important scientific research into possible ways of helping people better control and manage MS. These examinations into alternative therapies include studying cooling, which employs technology developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) available to MSAA via an historic, one-of-a-kind Memorandum of Understanding between MSAA and NASA and which thanks to portable microclimate apparel lowers a person’s core body temperature one degree, thus warding off fatigue and increasing productivity; experiments involving bee venom therapy, which will either affirm or debunk the folk notion that bee stings bolster the human immune system and, therefore, delay the effects of MS; and tests to see whether electromagnetic fields (EMF’s), already proven helpful to people with neurological diseases, e.g. migraine headaches, are beneficial to those with MS.

Knowing the Difference
MSAA is an independent national and international charity registered with the IRS and licensed in all jurisdictions in which it operates. It is not affiliated with any other organization helping those with MS. MSAA is particularly dedicated on delivering direct service that makes a difference in a constituent’s day-to-day existence as he or she fight the disease. It offers broad services while conducting and financing research into alternative therapies that can enhance the comfort of MS patients and, perhaps, make the disease more manageable in the future.

Ways to Support MSAA
MSAA cannot do its work alone. It needs a wide spectrum supporters and volunteers to help it carry out its mission. Donations, whether of cash on in-kind, are always appreciated. Volunteers have often been the backbone of MSAA, and it is always looking for sincere, willing, compentent people to help it provide its level of service. Also, attending or sponsoring special events can be of critical importance. MSAA dedicates itself to helping others.

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