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Sunday

 

The MS Community: We’re Global Now






















It’s been a couple of weeks since World MS Day 2016, and I’m just now getting around to telling you how I spent the day (and the next few after it).

Czech Republic
On the day itself, my wife, Caryn, and I boarded a flight from Dublin to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. Thunderstorms delayed the incoming airplane, so we were delayed in our departure and thus arrival. A flight attendant recognized me from my blog profile photo (her sister has MS), so that made me feel quite international from the start.

The reason we were in Prague was to speak at the International MS Patient Summit. Patient advocacy organizations (MS Societies and the like), people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), media, and pharma all attended the event. In total, 27 countries from 6 continents were represented.

We surely put the “world” in World MS Day this year.

At the summit, Birgit Bauer, a German social media expert who has MS, and I presented workshops on communication strategies for MS patient organizations. Our talks were well received, but I will say that I was pretty knackered by the time we were through.

China
While waiting at Václav Havel Airport for our return flight to Ireland, I was informed via Twitter that that my book, Chef Interrupted, had been given the Prestige Award of the International Jury at Gourmand International’s World Cookbook Awards in Yantai, China.

When the book was shortlisted as 1 of 12 books representing Ireland at the awards, I was surprised and humbled. To be one of only two books (and one website) from the country to be awarded “Best in the World” status was a little overwhelming for a kid whose writing teacher in high school told him he’d never be a writer.

United States
As if these two coinciding events wouldn’t make a guy feel quite international (and humbled), last week we were advised that the Life With MS blog had been named as one of the top blogs about living with MS on the web again this year.

I’ve had a chance to meet many of the other bloggers on this esteemed list in the past, and was excited to meet even more at the recent HealtheVoices summit of health bloggers in Chicago.

When we started this blog more than 10 years ago, we had no idea how it would turn out or whether it would catch on. I’m happy to say our Life with MS community has become a strong force for information and support to one another and the broader MS world. You have each been a part of the success of this community, and I thank you for the opportunity to be the nominal leader of the group.

Back Home to Ireland
Some important research has been released in the past days about diet and treatment options. I’ll be back to covering those aspects of living with MS in my next blog post. For today, however, I wanted to take a moment so that we might all recognize the global reach that we all extend by taking part in this community.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by EVERYDAYHEALTH
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length

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