Although MS Awareness month (March) is now behind us, advocacy continues. The National MS Society suggests multiple ways that patients and those involved in MS care and advocacy can make a difference. Among opportunities, interested individuals can:

Sign up for action alert emails at http:// Or have a fundraising event with a local restaurant or business. All the better if it features orange food (The MS color), the group says. A list of events planned around the country can be seen at http://www. index.aspx

The National MS Society also created and recently launched the “MS Kills Connection > < Connection Kills MS” campaign (, “to forge connections among people with MS, people who treat those with MS and people who search for answers to create a world free of MS.” In promoting the program, the MS Society highlights recent advancements in MS research:

  • The International MS Genetics Consortium has discovered new MS risk genes;
  • An international nervous system repair and protection initiative has led to one of the first adult stem cell clinical trials;
  • The first worldwide Society-sponsored research initiative to find effective ways of creating progressive MS is under way;
  • New and creative platforms to bring together top scientists are advancing research in the link between vitamin D and MS, in pediatric MS, and in quality-of-life strategies to improve long-term disease management outcomes.

April Marks Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month, and the Parkinson's Disease Foundation is emphasizing education through free educational programs, including an online PD ExpertBriefing, “Parkinson's Medications: Today and Tomorrow” on Tuesday, April 17. There are also “Pair up for Parkinson's Research” forums planned around the country.

The Foundation highlights the role of social media in spreading the word about PD. They offer free downloadable banners from their website and are accepting works for the 2012 “Make a Difference in the Fight Against Parkinson's Photo and Video Campaign.”

Finally, through the Irving G. Brilliant Research Challenge., Mr. Brilliant, who is living with Parkinson's, will match each donation made up to $100,000 during April.

To learn more about any of these resources, or to order free materials, including “30 Ways to Raise Awareness of Parkinson's,” contact PDF at (800) 457- 6676,, or awareness. Or connect with www., and The Michael J. Fox Foundation also has a fundraising matching challenge, this one for $50 million. The Foundation hosts an index of clinical trials and encourages research participation: http://www.