Let’s start the review at home with the first ever established MS organization. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) has an inspiring history - arising from a classified advertisement placed in The New York Times in 1945 by one individual looking for information for her brother who had just been diagnosed with MS. That extraordinary individual was Sylvia Lawry (1915-2001).
When her brother Bernard was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 1945, Sylvia Lawry searched for a successful therapy which led to the infamous classified ad in The New York Times asking that ‘anyone recovered from it [MS] please communicate with patient.’ She received around 50 replies to this advertisement - not from patients with remedies, but from those seeking a remedy or cure themselves.
Immediately Sylvia went to work, rallying more than 20 famous scientists to her cause and founding the world’s first ever MS organization in 1946 - the Association for Advancement of Research in Multiple Sclerosis. Sylvia recognized that people living with MS also needed sound information and support services in addition to increased research, so the Association evolved the following year into the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) which has become a model for national societies worldwide.
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Sylvia Lawry: The National MS Society and the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation