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MS Can Be a Kids’ Disease, Too 

Multiple sclerosis is not a disease only of adults.

The age at which a person is diagnosed with MS is usually between 20 and 50, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. But it can be diagnosed in people much younger. In fact, of the estimated 400,000 people with MS in the United States, 8,000-10,000 are under 18 years old.

We older folks have some pretty good support systems to which we can turn to learn about our disease and help us through rough spots. No so much for MS kids. But that’s where Emily Blosberg and her MS monkeys have stepped in. Emily was a 15-year-old ninth grader when her MS symptoms first appeared. She was diagnosed with MS a little over a year later. It didn’t take Emily very long to realize that entering the MS world when you’re a teenager can be a lonely place. So, she tried to do something about that.

Emily started by trying to connect on Facebook with people who were under 18 and living with MS. She then connected with the National MS Society to create a Facebook group for MS youngsters. A few kids joined and young MS patients continue to find their way, periodically.

Emily travels to MS events to connect with young MS patients and to help them connect with each other. She created a stuffed monkey named Oscar to travel with her to represent all young people with MS. She then created an Oscar the MS Monkey Facebook page.

After that, Oscar became so popular that Emily had to make more, each of them by hand. She distributes them worldwide to kids with MS.

This has all now expanded into an MS “Buddy Bash.” Three families, each with a child with pediatric MS, recently traveled from New York, Louisiana, and Iowa to a camp in Wisconsin. There they shared experiences, heard from a neurologist who may have offered them a new perspective on their disease, and listened to a special education teacher explain about accommodations in schools. They also had a lot of fun, as you can see in the video below.

Read on: MS Can Be a Kids’ Disease, Too – Multiple Sclerosis News Today

Read on: MS Can Be a Kids’ Disease, Too – Multiple Sclerosis News Today

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