It’s been a few months since the second annual endMS Summer School took place, and I wanted to share with you a summary of what took place and what some participants had to say.
The venue for the 2010 endMS Summer School (sponsored by Deloitte) was Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The week of May 17-22 saw forty graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who are currently pursuing or interested in research or clinical training in multiple sclerosis come together to work to better understand the clinical and behavioral science of MS.
The goals set for participants were:
- Develop greater breadth and depth in: the understanding of MS as experienced by the clinical practitioner and by persons living with MS, applied clinical and research methods in MS, and the integration of applied research and clinical practice
- Increase capacity for inter-disciplinary research
- Establish a peer network among MS research trainees
Instructors and program facilitators traveled to Dalhousie from across Canada to offer their research expertise on a variety of topics, ranging from MS diagnosis and treatment to epidemiology and genetics.
The impact the program had on participants was positive, and for some individuals the experience reaffirmed their commitment to continue research in the field of MS.
“I feel more solidified in my decision to do MS research. I have a network of experts to draw upon. I feel this is an emerging area that can make great strides” referenced an attendee. Patient and family perspectives were shared, and panel discussions on “hot topics” in MS were discussed throughout the course of the program.
“The MS patient portion was absolutely invaluable. They were so kind to share their stories and to put a face to a disease we are researching” mentioned one participant when asked about the patient and family perspective.
Programs like the endMS summer school are made possible by generous donations to the endMS campaign. And thanks to the financial support of donors from across Canada, the 2011 endMS summer school is set for the month of May. I’ll keep you updated on next year’s event as the program develops.
Watch this video from the 2010 session for more perspectives on the endMS summer school.
What are your thoughts on initiatives such as the endMS Summer School? Do you feel programs like this will help accelerate the pace of discovery in the field of MS?
Technorati tags: endMS, multiple sclerosis, summer school
I’ve not posted for some time but things are really starting to pick up steam!
I had planned to climb to Mount Everest Base Camp this October to raise much needed funds to help those like me who live with MS, but I eventually came to realize that I needed to focus on making myself better before I could do the same for others. Therefore my trip has been rescheduled for October 2011.
I've partnered with Mr. John Buchanan, an MS volunteer and filmmaker who has eagerly agreed to document not only my year-long process of fundraising and physical training leading up to my trip, but to accompany me during the climb itself.
We are only just beginning the process of planning a timeline for what will be filmed; when, and with whom we might partner to best make this project really happen.
Our very first endeavour was to capture footage of my most recent bake sale at the MS Society of Canada office in Toronto. I'm really looking forward to seeing how it turned out! I know the employees are looking forward to it as well.
I am still searching for a final member for my triumvirate of travelers. As any number of things could go wrong (health-wise) during this trip, I need to bring with me a third person - someone with medical or first aid training who preferably also possesses equal training in physical rehabilitation or human kinetics. The goal is to ensure that, if anything does go wrong, there is maximum potential for me to overcome it.
I will endeavour to post weekly updates on my progress to keep everybody up to date on my successes and, of course, my challenges. As well, you will be able to follow me regularly on Twitter, and will also soon be creating a Facebook page dedicated specifically to my climb.
As for the documentary, I'm hoping to be able to post regular video snippets throughout the year on the MS Society’s YouTube channel and also link those to the video blog feature on my webpage.
Things are beginning to grow and evolve, and at this point I am open to just about any opportunity to promote what I'm doing. I want to let the world know just how important it is to the world that we all work together to make this dream a reality - the dream of being able to finally end MS!
Until then I'm just doing my best to reach unimaginable heights!
Keep checking in and wish me luck.
Aug, who'll be comin' round the mountain when he comes...
Technorati tags: endMS, multiple sclerosis, MS Climb
Life is a learning curve, and there are some pretty sharp turns along the way to where you want to go.
I’ve not posted an update for some time. Primarily it’s because my MS is getting worse. As I have secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, that means that whatever I lose, I lose for good. Secondly, my personal life has suffered some serious setbacks and I now find myself at the beginning of a new phase in my life, and I’ve a long way to travel before I “learn” to navigate its “curves.”
The timing is ironic. As the 2010 RONA MS Bike Tour season continues, and with the 2011 MS WALK a few months from beginning its initial planning stages, I am reminded of the parallels between these events and the journey everyone must make while living with multiple sclerosis.
Like everything else, it is about planning for the future, while understanding that the road ahead is never fully predictable. It’s about taking things one step - one kilometer - at a time, and keeping your eye on your destination and not on the road beneath you. It is about sometimes getting tired, sometimes getting lost, and sometimes even falling, but never losing site of the fact that those times are only just a small part of the whole journey.
I had planned to climb to Mount Everest Base Camp this October to raise much needed funds to help those like me who live with this disease. I eventually came to realize that I needed to focus on making myself better before I could do the same for others. Therefore my trip has been postponed until next October.
Am I daunted? Oh, yes. Am I scared? Most certainly! But as I said, this is just another step on the path towards becoming the person I want to be - whom I’m truly meant to be... I just need to keep my focus and let my feet take care of themselves.
I still have many months to go before I can reach my goal, and many steps to make before I’ll get there. But if I take it a step at a time, there’s no telling how far I’ll go, or what I will accomplish when I reach my destination. Even by myself I can still achieve truly amazing things, but together, you and I can accomplish miracles.
Together - we can finally end MS!
Technorati tags: endMS, multiple sclerosis, learning curve