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News and Opinions about MS, Health & Disability

Russian Physician’s Guide to HSCT in Moscow

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There’s good news for anyone with multiple sclerosis who is considering undergoing HSCT, especially if that involves being treated in Russia.

And that’s because Denis Fedorenko, MD, who is in charge of the stem cell transplant program for MS patients, has put together a comprehensive guide to the whole procedure at the A.A. Maximov Department of Hematology and Cellular Therapy of the Pirogov National Medical Surgical Center, in Moscow.

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Dr. Denis Fedorenko.

Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (AHSCT) for Autoimmune Diseases (AID) includes explanation of the general procedure, as well as detailed explanations of individual parts of the process. It also has a section devoted to the experienRussian Physician’s Guide to HSCT in Moscowce of the Russian team.

Other sections detail such topics as the Inclusion Criteria, Exclusion Criteria, Pre-Transplant Examination, and steps of the AHSCT treatment.

Here is one excerpt – the Inclusion Criteria:

Systemic autoimmune diseases

o Diagnosed multiple sclerosis (all variants) with EDSS score between 1.5 and 6.5, documented progression/relapses over the previous year, with or without gadolinium-enhancing lesions.

o Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) with or without paraprotein

o Severe systemic vasculitis

o Systemic lupus erythematosus

o Systemic sclerosis

o Crohn’s disease

o Other severe systemic autoimmune conditions, including  connective tissue diseases

Age 16 – 70

Adequate organ function 

o Cardiac LV Ejection Fraction >45% o Total Lung capacity > 60%

o Pulmonary artery pressure < 45 mmHg

o DLCO/VA>50%

• Absence of severe chronic infections

• Negative serology HBV, HCV, HIV

• Absence of mental and cognitive deficits and ability to provide informed consent

• Absence of gross cognitive disturbances 

• Absence of severe concomitant diseases

Three months ago, I visited the Maximov HSCT clinic to undergo tests to see if I could have the treatment. I saw the facilities and met and talked with Dr. Fedorenko, administrator Anastnasia Panchenko, other members of the team as well as patients.

My tests turned out to mean that HSCT was not suitable for me because of another health condition, But I have no hesitation in saying that, had it been possible, it is the treatment I would have chosen.

This article, written by me, was first published by Multiple Sclerosis News Today.

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ian-skype_edited50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, who is Managing Editor (columns division) of BioNews Services. BioNews is owner of 50 disease/disorder-specific news and information websites – including MS News Today. Ian has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

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MS takes centre stage on television soap

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First, I have a confession to make, I don’t watch soap operas on television but the fact is they do attract huge and often passionate audiences.

They develop different story lines from time to time, and the newest such story in one leading TV soap in the UK is one of its main characters being diagnosed with relapsing MS.

In a recent episode of Channel 4’s Hollyoaks soap opera, set in a fictional suburb of the English city Chester, character Nancy Osborne met with her neurologist to hear the results of an MRI scan. In previous months, viewers had seen the character, played by actress Jessica Fox, experience a series of unexplained symptoms including weakness, tremor and spasms.

Nancy is a young mum in her late 20s who’s been involved in numerous main storylines since 2005. She’s married to Darren Osborne and is the deputy headteacher at Hollyoaks High.

Doubts have already been expressed about how well the television company will treat the story. Some comments on Facebook questioned if such a serious disease would be handled in the right way and if it would be true to life, but I am reassured that the programme makers are trying their very best.

The country’s leading multiple sclerosis charity, the MS Society, has confirmed that it has been consulted and has cooperated with the programme makers.

On its website, the charity says: “The scriptwriters got in touch with us to ask for advice about MS. We were happy to give them accurate information about MS and its symptoms, but we know it’s up to Hollyoaks to decide how they use our feedback.

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Kirsty and Lottie (Pic: Kirsty, via MS Society).

 

“We also introduced the scriptwriters to people with MS who shared their own experiences of the condition. One of the people we asked was Kirsty, who’s a 32-year-old accountant and mum to four-year-old Lottie. She was joined by her close friends, sisters Kat Garner and Vicki Bithell, whose parents have MS.”

Kirsty told the MS Society: “This was the first time I opened up to such a large group of people about how I feel about my MS.

“At one point, I got quite choked up, but we really wanted to show what it’s like living with MS and how it feels to watch someone you love battle often debilitating symptoms every day.”

It will be interesting to see how the storyline progresses and how well Nancy can cope with living with MS.

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ian-skype_edited50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, who is Managing Editor (columns division) of BioNews Services. BioNews is owner of 50 disease/disorder-specific news and information websites – including MS News Today. Ian has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

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MS Society Award Nominations: We All Are Stars

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Nominations are being sought for individuals and groups for the U.K.’s MS Society Awards 2017. Organizers say the awards will recognize the stars of the MS community and their contributions during 2016.

While not wishing to denigrate the awards in any way, I cannot help but feel that all of us who have, or are affected by, multiple sclerosis are stars in our own ways.

Everyone who is an MS warrior and determined never to give up is a star. Every family member caring for someone with MS is a star. Every volunteer who raises money for the cause is a star.

These awards will not find any stars better than our own, but the awards should gain some well-deserved publicity for the MS Society.

awardsCategories for which nominations are now open are:

MS Society group. This award is open to any MS Society group across the U.K.

Carer. The care and support provided by this person, who will be a family member, partner or friend, will have made a real and positive difference to the life of someone with MS.

Young Carer (under 18). The care provided by this young person, who will be a family member or friend, will have made a real and positive difference to the life of someone with MS.

Campaigner. The campaigner of the year award recognizes an inspiring individual who has campaigned to raise awareness of MS or improve policy or services for people affected by MS.

Digital media. This award is aimed at anyone (individual, team or organization) who has delivered outstanding and innovative results through digital media for the benefit of the MS community.

Employer. Judges are looking for organizations that create an excellent working environment for staff and show consistent consideration and awareness of the fluctuating nature of MS.

Fundraiser. Your nominee may have taken part in an exciting one-off activity, or have shown commitment to long-term fundraising for the MS Society over 2016. Your submission should include the amount of money they’ve raised, as well as details of how many people were involved in organizing and/or taking part in the fundraising activity.

Young Fundraiser (under 18). It’s inspiring to see young people getting involved and making a positive difference to the world. We want to recognize their achievements and encourage them to continue to be a force for change in the future.

Media. Nominations for this category will need to show how media coverage has been positive and accurate. Journalists should demonstrate how their work has impacted its audience and/or provide links to the story.

Professional. This award is open to all health and social care professionals whose work centers around people affected by MS, and improving their access to treatment, care and support.

Political Supporter. This award recognizes the work of political supporters in seeking to improve access to responsive treatment, care and support for people affected by MS. This includes all politicians who held office in 2016 across the U.K, from local to national level.

Research. This category recognizes world class research projects that are working hard to beat MS. These projects must be based in the UK.

Volunteer. This award is open to individuals or groups of MS Society volunteers. These submissions may address one or more of the following: Information, education, therapies, support, social events, advocacy, transport or anything else.

Nomination forms and guidance notes can be found on the MS Society website.

All nominations must be received by 5 p.m. on Feb. 10, 2017.

This article, written by me, was first published by Multiple Sclerosis News Today.

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ian-skype_edited50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, who is Managing Editor (columns division) of BioNews Services. BioNews is owner of 50 disease/disorder-specific news and information websites – including MS News Today. Ian has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

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Like These Athletes, We All Should be Putting Our Best Feet Forward

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It’s often said of the 2.5 million of people in the world who have multiple sclerosis that no two have the same symptoms. Indeed, that is why it is known as the Snowflake disease.

And the wide variety of symptoms can be well-illustrated by looking at examples of people at both ends of the mobility scale. At one end are those who cannot walk, or have great difficulty walking. At the other extreme, are those who manage to overcome their own difficulties and keep running — literally.

determinedLet’s take a brief look at some of those determined to be athletes, despite having MS.

In August 2015, on my personal website, I wrote a story about Kayla Montgomerya young American long-distance runner who competes despite having MS.

Seventeen months ago, I wrote: “Title after title, record after record have fallen to this young lady from North Carolina.

She says that during a race her legs go numb, starting with her feet and working upwards so she feels no pain but, of course, she gets hot from the exercise involved and that is something that all of us with MS know is going to exacerbate symptoms if only for a short space of time.

“At the end of each race, as she stops running, Kayla’s legs give way and she collapses into her coach’s arms. He carries her off the track and her temperature is brought back to normal using ice and water.”

In the Fall, the Paralympic games were held in Rio and Kadeena Cox, a determined British participant with MS, excelled. She won gold medals and world records as both a track athlete and a cyclist. I wrote about her achievements here.

Now, another person with MS is undertaking a massive and incredible challenge. Cheryl Hile is running seven marathons on seven continents in one year. You can read the details in an article that columnist Ed Tobias brought you in Cheryl’s story four months ago.

What all these athletes have in common is being determined to enjoy life and never give up. We all should have the same twin aims. No matter how we are affected by our multiple sclerosis symptoms, we all need to enjoy our lives and never, ever give up. Whether it’s running a marathon or taking just one step — and that is a figurative step — it is a step forward, an improvement, an improvement in your quality of life.

This article, written by me, was first published by Multiple Sclerosis News Today.

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ian-skype_edited50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, who is Managing Editor (columns division) of BioNews Services. BioNews is owner of 50 disease/disorder-specific news and information websites – including MS News Today. Ian has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

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Phoebe’s HSCT Story: Back home (Last in a Series)

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Phoebe Scopes was the first international patient to receive Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) therapy for multiple sclerosis in Moscow. In this fourth, and last, part of her story, we join Phoebe on her return home to the London.

Ian: What is your post-HSCT MS state from getting home until today?

Phoebe: Back home, four months post treatment, I shared video footage with my “newly appointed”  neurologist and hematologist. The video showed me the day before discharge from the hospital walking quite freely for three-four meters without the need for any kind of assistance.

By now, though, I was experiencing the latent effects of chemotherapy and was leaning heavily on two canes, so I didn’t resemble the footage at all.

I did, however, retain the improved cognitive position I showed in the hospital after treatment, but felt that I was slowly losing the physical gains realized after HSCT.

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The roller coaster ride of treatment then recovery after HSCT, created and drawn by Phoebe Scopes.

For a while, I moved through different levels of wellness, sometimes feeling strong and upbeat while other times experiencing total body weakness, and a return of old symptoms often worse than they were before. I went into early menopause and my hormones were all over the place, which brought on bouts of depression. I coined this stage as the “rollercoaster” ride, and like many HSCT patients I believed that the real improvements would come once the effects of chemo had diminished.

We are told that the rollercoaster ride can last up to two years after treatment, so many have bided their time only to find that two and three years later they seem to still be waiting for significant benefits while their disease remains worse than it was before HSCT.

In some ways, I felt that my MS was continuing to progress, despite gaining some cognitive improvements early on.

I was definitely what’s known as a “responder” to HSCT, but with the return of some difficulties relating to mobility, I believed I was one of the 25% who needed further disease ablation — what I called “top-up” treatment. Top-ups are courses of chemotherapy divided and spread out over anything up to six months for the purpose of destroying those pre-HSCT rogue cells that still remain after HSCT, and are responsible for low-level immune inflammation.

After receiving top-ups, I experienced marginal improvements to my mobility again. But, as before, the benefits gradually disappeared. After this, my new neurologist advised me that more chemo could create other health complications. I definitely agreed with him so, declined another course.

It’s at this stage that I made a difficult, but liberating, decision to stop destroying my now fragile immune system with more chemotherapy, steroids and other pharmaceuticals, and start the long but achievable journey of healing my body using a natural approach.

HSCT is not for everyone, but I believe it is important that it is understood and clearly made available to patients much earlier in their disease, preferably before there is disability. This does not guarantee treatment success but it provides a stronger probability.

Ian: It’s good to hear you commenting so favorably about HSCT, but in your own case do you feel it was worthwhile having HSCT, or do you now regret having it?

Phoebe: I rarely get asked this question by family and friends, but it often comes up within the HSCT circle where either someone exploring treatment raises the topic, or one HSCTer asks the other whether they have regrets.

Most people who receive treatment have had to raise funds and take their family and friends on an emotional journey of hope for a cure. They understandably feel guilty if they are to admit the failure of treatment and a sense of disappointment can overshadow everything at this stage.

Personally, I neither regret having HSCT, nor hail it as a “miracle cure” treatment.

Yes, there are HSCTers with incredible stories about how their lives have been transformed because of treatment; people like Carmel Turner, who got out of her wheelchair and walked AND is still walking and working in a job she loves, but couldn’t do before.

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Dr Fedorenko with Phoebe during her treatment. (Pic: Phoebe Scopes).

There are others with less dramatic, yet very encouraging, stories. But I can’t ignore those for whom treatment results have been disappointing and, like me, have struggled with the side effects of the HSCT regimen.

I am glad I was in a position to use HSCT and I definitely experienced significant improvements after treatment, even though some of these were short-lived. The biggest improvement that has stayed with me is the one that restored my cognitive abilities to allow me to construct things such as this story. However, I do sometimes feel that maybe my cognitive state would have recovered on its own after the relapse I was having at the time.

So, for me, there is no clear winning side.

Ian: Phoebe, is there anything else you´d like to say?

Phoebe: Yes, thank you. As an avid researcher, my motto has always been “Knowledge is King.”

It is understandable that when faced with an opportunity to halt a disease like MS, we invest the majority of our time assessing its efficacy and safety. Of course, these two areas are the backbone of any treatment.

There have long been discussions and speculation that HSCT can cause cancer, but there is no strong evidence to support this. Yes, I have heard about a few people being diagnosed with cancer after their HSCT ,but cancer does not just develop overnight, so chances are it was already there before treatment was started. Having said this, I do recognize that maybe HSCT can accelerate the pace of existing cancers, so I feel it is right that there is always a healthy level of awareness.

I also think we need to know more about the long-term side effects of some of the drugs used in treatment. For example; Cyclophosphamide (chemotherapy drug) and Prednisone (steroid) are both known to cause peripheral nerve damage, which may be temporary, but can be permanent. If we are trying to improve our disease, does it make sense to use drugs that have the potential to damage us further?

It is also worth knowing that some of the side effects from chemo-related treatments like HSCT do take time before presenting themselves.

A number of people who received HSCT two or more years ago for example have reported being diagnosed with AVN (Avascular Necrosis). AVN is a painful destructive disease of the bone that brings with it the need to replace hips, knees and other joints, and is most often the result of using Prednisone and/or steroids.

It is my opinion that these side effects do not affect everyone and I don’t believe that this information would deter many people from receiving HSCT. But it would be good for us all to know before using these drugs whether they are being used to “manage” disease, and certainly if one is considering HSCT.

It’s well worth investigating and asking ourselves the question about the risk-to-reward ratio.

Ian: Finally, please tell us how you are, and what you are doing to look after your health today.

Phoebe: Today and for over the last six months, I have been following an all-natural protocol scientifically researched and used to treat MS and other autoimmune diseases with success.

The research and studies were carried out by the late Fredric Klenner, MD, and involve using high doses of vitamins and minerals in a completely orthomolecular practice.

Contrary to what we are told about MS being irreversible, Dr. Klenner proved that myelin can and does certainly repair when given the right ingredients in which to do so. It is a long process but can be achieved.

I wasn’t expecting much to happen for a while, but since starting the protocol, I have already experienced great improvements to many areas of my MS that were not there prior.

I am so grateful to have found this protocol so I’ve set up a Facebook page to provide information and support to anyone wishing to use alternative therapy.

This article, written by me, was first published by Multiple Sclerosis News Today.

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ian-skype_edited50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, who is Managing Editor (columns division) of BioNews Services. BioNews is owner of 50 disease/disorder-specific news and information websites – including MS News Today. Ian has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

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New MS drug approval delayed by three months

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People with MS who have been looking forward to the long-awaited US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the MS drug Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) are disappointed now it has been delayed. This is because, although a decision had been promised for late December 2016, an 11th-hour decision means the approval hearing has now been put back to late March 2017. I can understand that disappointment.

Manufacturer Genentech, said: “The extension is the result of the submission of additional data by Genentech regarding the commercial manufacturing process of Ocrevus, which required additional time for FDA review. The extension is not related to the efficacy or safety of Ocrevus.”ocrelizumab

Across the Atlantic, ocrelizumab is currently being reviewed for licensing in Europe as a treatment for both primary progressive and relapsing MS. Its long-term safety profile will need to be investigated, in further trials and in the real world. A decision by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected in late 2017.

The full results of the latest ocrelizumab US trials have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. These results have previously been presented at conferences, but this is the first time they have been published in a peer-reviewed journal, which is the gold standard in academic research.

Both the UK’s MS Society and MS Trust welcomed publication of the trial data prior to the FDA delay being announced.

MS Society head of clinical trials Dr Aisling McMahon said: “This (trial data) is really big news for people with the primary progressive form of multiple sclerosis. It’s the first time a treatment has shown the potential to reduce disability progression for this type of MS, which offers a lot of hope for the future.

“MS can be challenging and unpredictable and the 15,000 people in the UK living with primary progressive MS currently have no treatments available to slow the worsening of their condition. Before this treatment is available on the NHS it needs to be licensed by the European Medicines Agency and assessed for cost-effectiveness.”

MS Trust chief executive Pam Macfarlane said: “This is very encouraging news for people with PPMS. There has never been a positive result in a phase III trial of this kind and it is cause for greater hope that there is a treatment that could have an effect on disability.  We look forward to hearing more detail about the trial and whether the positive effects on disability can be sustained over the longer term.”

If ocrelizumab is licensed in Europe, the UK’s National Institute and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) will then decide whether to make it available on the National Health Service (NHS).

This decision will be based on how cost effective the treatment is. NICE will look at both the price and how much it can help people. Ocrelizumab is also being considered for licensing by the US Food and Drug Administration in the USA.

• Ocrelizumab is being developed for both relapsing and primary progressive MS. This research is notable for being the first large scale study to report a reduction in disability progression in primary progressive MS. 160 of the 487 people in the ocrelizumab group had confirmed progression at 12 weeks, compared to 96 of the 244 people in the placebo group. In relapsing remitting MS, ocrelizumab reduced the number of relapses by 50 percent compared to interferon beta 1a (Rebif).

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ian-skype_edited50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, who is Managing Editor (columns division) of BioNews Services. BioNews is owner of 50 disease/disorder-specific news and information websites – including MS News Today. Ian has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

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Paralympians with MS delighted to receive national honours

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Two Paralympians with multiple sclerosis, who won gold medals in Rio in 2016, are delighted to have had their efforts recognized in their country’s New Year Honours list.

Kadeena Cox and Stephanie Millward have both been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, which is denoted by adding the letters MBE after their names.

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Kadeena Cox.

Both took to Twitter to express their pleasure. Kadeena, who received her award for service to athletics, tweeted: “SPOTY (BBC TV Sports Personality of the Year) nomination now MBE, 2016 couldn’t have been a better year. Thanks for all the support and here’s to a great 2017.”

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Stephanie Millward.

And Stephanie, whose award was for her services to swimming, tweeted: “Thank you everyone 4 following me &supporting me for an amazing GOLD & MBE in 2016! Good luck for 2017!! I hope all your dreams come true!”

Kadeena, aged 25, lives in Leeds, West Yorkshire, and was diagnosed with MS two years ago. As featured here on September 18, she won gold medals in both cycling and athletics in Rio, becoming the first Briton since 1988 to win a medal in two sports at the same Paralympics. This was recognized publicly when she was selected to be Great Britain’s flag bearer at the games’ closing ceremony.

Stephanie, is 35 and lives in Corsham, Wiltshire. She was diagnosed with MS at the age of 17 and embarked on an 18-year journey to the top of the Paralympic podium, winning two gold medals at Rio.

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MS Society Ambassadors Stephanie Millward (left) and Kadeena Cox. (Pic:: MS Society).

Both women are Ambassadors of the UK’s MS Society, on behalf of which Ian Fannon said: “We’re absolutely thrilled for Kadeena and Stephanie to be recognized in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List. They’ve both had a phenomenal year and these awards pay tribute to their dedication and achievements.

“We’re so proud to have Kadeena and Stephanie as MS Society Ambassadors, helping to raise awareness about this challenging and unpredictable condition.”

To that, I must add my congratulations for the great efforts and achievements of these Paralympians and MS warriors and for their subsequent well-deserved honours.

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ian-skype_edited50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, who is Managing Editor (columns division) of BioNews Services. BioNews is owner of 50 disease/disorder-specific news and information websites – including MS News Today. Ian has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

 

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Some MS dates for your 2017 diary

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Happy New Year

Yes, it has arrived at last and so, today, I bring you a calendar of notable events that are planned for the next 12 months. Please note that this is not meant to be a complete or exhaustive list, just those I have picked out for your diaries.

To make it easier to find out more details, each event listed below includes a link to the organiser’s website.

February

22-23 Advanced Curriculum for Multiple Sclerosis, A pre-ACTRIMS Forum 2017 program, Orlando, Florida, USA.

23-25 ACTRIMS Forum 2017, Orlando, Florida, USA.

March

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, USA – The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA).

3-9 MS Week, UK.

7-13 MS Awareness Week, USA.

23-26 11th World Congress in Controversies in Neurology (CONy), Athens, Greece. (MS March 24).

May

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, Canada.

19-20 EMPS (European MS Platform) Spring Conference, Athens, Greece.

24-27 CMSC (Consortium of MS Centers) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

31 World MS Day 2017. The theme will be ‘Life with MS’.

October

25-28 Seventh joint ECTRIMS (European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS) ACTRIMS (Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in MS) meeting, Paris, France.

All the very best for the 12 months ahead, wherever you are.

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ian-skype_edited50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, who is Managing Editor (columns division) of BioNews Services. BioNews is owner of 50 disease/disorder-specific news and information websites – including MS News Today. Ian has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

 

 

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