Every day multiple sclerosis (MS) affects the lives of thousands of Maine residents and many visitors to this state. The prevalence of MS in Maine is among the highest in the nation. While its symptoms are not universal, many MS patients experience reduced mobility, vision, physical sensation, mental acuity, speech, energy, and overall control of most muscle functions. There is no cure, and for most people, the disease worsens with age.
Compounding the problem in Maine is the shortage of quality MS service providers. Yes, there are some very talented physicians and nurses who provide excellent MS care in our state. Unfortunately, there are not enough of them, nor is most care well-coordinated. And that is particularly so in central, eastern, and northern Maine.
I am extremely excited to lead this campaign to establish and endow eastern, central and northern Maine’s first comprehensive program for MS care. In the summer of 2013 the program was launched, thanks to $400,000 in lead gifts that funded several years of operations. We now are seeking to endow $80,000annual support by raising $1.6 million through this campaign.
These funds are needed to help with staffing that is not reimbursable by insurance. Hundreds of people are already benefitting from EMMC comprehensive care. It is anticipated that more and more people will be turning to EMMC for their MS care. MS has affected each person differently, but we all share a strong desire for this program to become a reality.
For the thousands of Mainers with MS and all of their family members who suffer alongside them, please join with me and support this campaign, so we can ensure that this important program is sustainable into the future. Thank you.