A powerful, personal look at the impact of multiple sclerosis

(BPT) - “MS is on My Mind when I need to miss my husband’s 50th high school reunion.” … “MS is on My Mind when my brain checks out at 2:30 in the afternoon and all I can do is stare out the window.” … “MS is on My Mind during the few moments I am free from my wheelchair skiing in Colorado.”

These are just a few of the sentiments shared by people affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) who completed the statement: “MS is on my mind when…” as part of the MS On My Mind (MSOMM) initiative sponsored by EMD Serono. The initiative encourages people living with MS to authentically reveal the reality of their lives by visiting MSIsOnMyMind.com and submitting their MSOMM experiences.

EMD Serono in collaboration with nationally renowned artist and MS On My Mind campaign creative director Lydia Emily Archibald, are sharing artwork based on select patient and caregiver submissions that compellingly illustrate the personal triumphs and frustrations of those impacted by MS. Archibald, who was diagnosed with MS in 2014, has been inspired to create unique works of art that depict individual experiences on canvas. To date, submissions have focused on a wide range of topics including impact on loved ones, mobility, physical symptoms and cognition.

“MS might strike in the form of frustration and struggle, yet trigger moments of sincere gratitude and accomplishment. All submissions to date have been equally compelling and relatable,” said Archibald. “I am honored to have the opportunity to use them as inspiration and look forward to continuing to create more pieces of art. The submissions continue to move me, and I encourage all members of the community to keep them coming! We’re in this together!”

The submissions will ultimately lead to a “Call for Solutions” issued to leading MS advocacy organizations. Every submission has a purpose and end goal — to ensure experiences identified by the community, like issues with mobility or cognition, are addressed and ensuring the MS community feels they are playing an active role in the development of impactful solutions.

EMD Serono will continue the partnership with Archibald throughout 2019. She will create murals at select MS advocacy events across the country, including Tampa, San Diego and Charlotte, where she will ask attendees to help her paint murals and submit their own MSOMM experiences. Following these events, EMD Serono and Ms. Archibald will attend the American Academy of Neurology congress in Philadelphia this May, where she will speak to advocacy groups about her involvement in the community and the MSOMM initiative.

MS is a chronic, inflammatory condition of the central nervous system affecting nearly 1 million people in the US.

MSOMM is sponsored by EMD Serono and Lydia Emily Archibald is being compensated for her role as the campaign creative director.

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