Every day multiple sclerosis (MS) impacts 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. It is a terrible disease.
Compounding the problem in Maine is the dearth 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 Maine’s first comprehensive program for MS care. This project will do so much for so many:
- Offer thousands of Maine MS patients access to all of the key MS services in a coordinated manner in close proximity to home.
- Capitalize on existing resources – no new building is required and many of the key providers are already in place.
- Establish a fund to ensure the long-term sustainability of the center.
Funds are needed to help with staffing that is not reimbursable by insurance. Moving forward with this project requires that we raise $400,000 to begin operations and $1.6 million more to endow the program into the future.
Joining me in this case statement are several courageous individuals who share their experiences with this difficult disease. 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 the creation of a place for us.