Saturday, September 26, 2009
[Bumped to the top until Saturday morning. Scroll down for more recent posts.]
I, TigerHawk, have organized a small but energetic team to ride in the "Hops to Hops" bike ride this Sunday morning in support of the fight against multiple sclerosis. The point, apart from fun, fresh air, and beer, is to raise money to respond to this terrible disease. Here are the talking points from the form promotional email from the National MS Society:
The National MS Society is kicking off our annual "Hops to Hops" Bike MS Ride. I am planning to be a part of that event and I am asking you to join me in the fight against MS by making a contribution to support my effort.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is dedicated to ending the devastating effects of MS. They simultaneously fund research for a cure while also helping people who currently live with MS lead more fulfilling lives. I believe in the work they do, and I invite you to see for yourself all the good they've done for the MS community. More than 400,000 Americans live with MS, and your support can and will make changes in their lives.
Please consider making a contribution to our effort, however symbolic (click here). And, of course, if you can get to Lambertville, New Jersey at 8 a.m. Sunday morning and would delight in riding your bike over hill and dale, please join our team and come along. It'll be a blast, and all for a great cause.
I'm in for a donation and encourage my fellow TH readers to do the same. Progress is being made in MS but there's still a lot of work to be done and it takes $$. MS Society is a good organization. Nuff said.
This is truly a great cause. With the vilification of profit in medical companies we will see far less investment in the cures that help the entire world. I don't want the government to take my money and re-distribute it, but I am happy to give it freely. There have been great advances in MS treatment, but the disease is only delayed or slowed. Any donation, however small, is a step towards a cure.
Based on ongoing research (of others) and a couple of anecdotal cases I have been involved in myself, I strongly recommend any patient of mine with MS be screened for Vitamin D deficiency and treated aggressively if it is found to be present.
Are Scandinavians more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency? As a person of Swedish descent, and having recently learned I have this deficiency I'm interested, and thinking if I should pass the word around my family.
I don't know about Scandinavian-Americans (who are also more prone to MS), but actually Scandinavians do not get as much sunshine as most other Caucasians, so I am guessing they are more prone to Vitamin D deficiency unless they get it from another source.
Fatty fish and fish oils are good sources of Vitamin D, and Scandanavians eat a lot of fish (traditionally). So they may well make up for their long dark winters with fish consumption, as well as dairy products.
Scandanavians do, however, seem to have a higher incidence of certain autoimmune disorders. So, it is plausible that MS incidence is higher for genetic reasons, and environmental factors (including diet) might play a role in expression of those genes.
I actually received significant additional nerve damage because my MS was misdiagnosed as a vitamin D deficiency. While I was given completely ineffective high dose vitamin D shots my nerves were ravaged for an extra week causing what may be permanent damage. This is one of the many reasons to donate to MS. Aside from a cure there are many areas to be improved such as initial diagnosis and determining the root causes.