Multiple Sclerosis (or MS as most people call it) is on the rise here in Canada, and scientists are not entirely sure why. MS has no cure and not one specific cause we can point to and say, "this is why you get it." Yet, there are approximately 77,000 Canadians currently living with the disease. Most Canadians get diagnosed with MS between the ages of 20-49. These are our young people, just starting to create a life for themselves when they are hit with the news that changes their lives.
MS is classified as an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, which means it attacks your brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. The disease attacks Myelin, the protective covering of the nerves, causing inflammation and often damaging the Myelin. Myelin is necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses through nerve fibres. When the damage to Myelin is substantial, scar tissue can replace the Myelin, nerve impulses may be completely disrupted, and the nerve fibres themselves can be damaged.
With symptoms including everything from extreme fatigue, lack of coordination, weakness, tingling, impaired sensation, vision problems, bladder problems to cognitive impairment, it can be hard for people to make the connection to MS when talking to friends and family about the symptoms they have.
I started learning more about MS a couple of weeks ago when a friend of mine told me her twin sister had been diagnosed with MS. At the time, I was completely unaware of how young people are when they get diagnosed or how often Canadians are being given this diagnosis. I also did not know that women have a higher rate of diagnosis than men. Please check out the website for more details. https://mssociety.ca
Research is making strides towards a cure and a cause; more funding is needed to do the work to get there. That is what Caroline Cellars is trying to do with a new wine they have unveiled this week. This unique wine was created to support funding for MS, but it also happens to be the colour for the MS Society of Canada (orange).
With part of the proceeds being donated to the MS Society of Canada, I highly recommend buying a bottle if you can. If you don't drink or maybe you're reading this and you're not local, you can still help. Please give to the MS society if you're able to. Donate your money, donate your time, or donate your voice to help raise awareness of this disease so we can someday find a cure.
The wine is beautiful and is described in this way on the Caroline Cellars website. "The nose of this wine is full of honeyed peach, sweet mandarin and red grapefruit notes. The palate has plenty of refreshing acidity, and a full mouth feel from the extended skin contact, with flavours of peach, orange and passion fruit, finishing with a palate cleansing ruby red grapefruit notes". You can buy the wine and check out the winery at https://www.carolinecellars.com and thank you for doing so.
I write this today not just in hopes that you will support the family-run winery that has been personally impacted by MS, but so that you can help spread the word to raise funds and awareness so that one day MS is something of the past. One day we will no longer fear or worry about our friends and family being diagnosed with this disease. Until then, please do what you can to support the MS research needed to help us get there.