Many of you may not know that Multiple Sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling, disease that affects the central nervous system, including the brain, the spinal cord, and the optic nerves.
While little is talked about it among the general population in Lebanon, thousands of Lebanese of all ages are affected by it. It causes a wide range of symptoms, including vision problems, pain, depression, memory problems, imbalance, muscle spasms, and a lot more.
A Lebanese NGO dedicated to enhancing the lives of Lebanese affected by this caustic disease began a campaign to bring awareness to the nation and encourage patients not to surrender to the disease.
The Lebanese Association Against Multiple Sclerosis, known as ALiSEP, teamed up with the global biopharmaceutical company Merck and launched the campaign "Don't Raise The 10". The launching was made in a press conference at the Key Apart Hotel in Ashrafieh.
The campaign has been aiming at giving hope to MS patients in Lebanon to live a normal life and to challenge their disease; fight it, manage it, and reduce its development.
The logo of the campaign depicts two hands raised in a sign of non-surrender, and the phrase "Don't raise the ten", which is meant to encourage MS Patients to replace their fear with dreams of a better tomorrow, hence reviving their hopes.
In their constant efforts to enhance the quality of life of MS patients in Lebanon, ALiSEP works closely "with the Faculty of Medicine at the Saint Joseph University and with the neurology department at Hotel-Dieu hospital." That in addition to having a signed agreement with ARSEP, France MS official association for multiple sclerosis.
Just this week, ALiSEP hosted an MS Awareness Day at ABC Mall of Verdun in Beirut to its 1200 patients of all ages from all regions of Lebanon. The event went for 2 days in colors and positivity under the slogan Coloring MS.
Coloring MS featured a variety of activities and entertainments, which included a photo Booth, boxing activities, a violin performance, coloring activities, and a presentation by the nurses explaining the Multi Sclerosis Disease.
Some of these engaging activities aimed at letting the patients feel like they're fighting their MS disease, empowering them to stay strong and never give up.
In addition to these activities, ALiSEP included colors to the event through live music performed by the music club of the Lebanese International University (LIU).
Many young talented singers participated also in this performance, singing unstoppable for the MS patients.
Explaining about ALiSEP, founder and president Jinan Khairallah told Annahar that "ALiSEP provides both moral and financial support, as they cover the difference not covered by the social security of the sufferers when it comes to medication, treatment, hospitalization, MRI scans, and physiotherapy sessions."
In regards to moral support, ALiSEP organizes many awareness conferences throughout the year to make MS patients and their families more aware of the disease, how to live with it, and how to take care of it.