March 28, 2019: Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Day

WHEREAS, nearly 1 million people in the United States are living with multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic, disabling disease of the central nervous system for which there is no cure; and,

WHEREAS, most people with MS eventually develop a progressive form of the disease; and,

WHEREAS, MS is at least two to three times more common in women than in men and is typically diagnosed when individuals are in the prime of their lives, between the ages of 20 and 50; and,

WHEREAS, MS can cause many symptoms, including blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, depression, and more; and,

WHEREAS, due to these symptoms and progression of the disease, people with MS, their families, caregivers, employers, and the entire health care system carry substantial clinical and economic burdens over a period of many years; and,

WHEREAS, lost productivity related to loss of employment or the need to retire early due to disease progression may be the largest single factor that contributes to the non-medical financial, familial, and societal costs of MS; and,

WHEREAS, early and appropriate treatment, including the use of disease-modifying therapies, can markedly reduce disease activity and accumulation of disability, potentially allowing patients to have a more active and independent lifestyle; and,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that people living with MS, together with their families, should be empowered to seek out information to make decisions about the treatment and care they receive;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclamation March 28, 2019, as Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Day in Michigan to increase awareness of this disabling disease and support people living with progressive forms of MS.