It’s arrived – MS Awareness week. The question is, what are you doing to help change the way MS is perceived? What can we do to stop that blank stare from piercing our insides when we tell someone, “I have MS”?
While I’ve been least impressed by Montel Williams, I have been most impressed by the new campaign FearlessMS.org. It’s everything I could have asked for, and more. Finally, finally, someone gets it. This model, wearing orange, is exactly along those lines. She is young, fun, and sporting the hideous color selected to represent awareness of a hideous disease. If I have to wear orange, I might cry.
There are many proponents of MS working diligently each day to raise funds and to raise awareness. So why is it that most people in my age demographic 20-40 are so clueless about MS? Well, the first reason is probably that disease isn’t quite in their vocabulary unless it’s in reference to a parent or grandparent. But another reason has to do with image. What’s the image of MS? Old. Outdated. Wheelchair. Wrinkles. Walker. What’s the reality of MS? FearlessMS.org‘s got it.
The reality is, most people diagnosed (200 per day in the US) are women in their 20’s and 30’s who may look fantastic. Our goal is to keep ourselves looking this way. Today I peeked at Montel’s Facebook page to see what he’s doing for MS Awareness Week. Currently, I have nothing to report. Except the photo of him backstage at QVC is quite telling. He looks pretty rough. He has what I call “MS eyes” – pale, drawn, circles. He did mention a flare up this week, so maybe that’s why. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing Montel. He has done more for MS than any other celebrity, including a Montel Williams Foundation (that most people have never heard of). I just think we (all) could be doing more. Afterall, our lives are at stake.
So, although orange is like nails on a chalkboard to me, I’ll embrace the Orange if you’ll embrace the new advertising campaign for MS. FearlessMS.org
Happy MS Awareness Week? No, that’s not it … Embrace MS Awareness Week.