March is MS Awareness Month!
Every March we join MS organizations across the country in a national effort to raise awareness of the disease that's changed so many of our lives. Here are ways you can spread the word and get people involved. In 2017, we're inviting you to Shine a Light on Your MS -- help others understand by sharing your story!
- Use the Rocky Mountain MS Center's MS Awareness Month badge on your social media during March. (See the badge located on the right side of this page.)
- To save the image for your Facebook page, right click on the March is MS Awareness Month circle image located on the right of the page and click on Save As.
- Share this web page on your social media pages using the tool located on the left side of this page.
- Participate in an MS clinical trial.
The Rocky Mountain MS Center is a proud member of the Chronic Care Collaborative (CCC) -- a group of 34 different health organizations in Colorado representing a wide range of chronic diseases.
The Collaborative meets at least monthly to discuss policies important to member organizations and their constituents. The CCC advocates at the Capitol to the State General Assembly every year on Chronic Disease Awareness Day where they educate legislators about the burdens of chronic disease on families, budgets, and people’s lives. PICTURED: MS advocate Elissa Berlinger (left) talks to Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives Crisanta Duran on March 9, 2017.
Why? To learn, to advocate, to connect. Chronic Disease Awareness Day at the Capitol is a powerful way to have your voice and concerns heard by our elected officials who impact our health care policy. It's also an opportunity to meet and connect with others affected by a chronic disease.
When: Thursday, March 9th - Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with continental breakfast
Where: The First Baptist Church, 1373 Grant St., Denver, CO 80203. (8 a.m. to 10 a.m.). We'll meet for a brief advocacy training and an opportunity to develop your story and your talking points.
Colorado State Capitol (10a.m. to 11:30 a.m.). We will proceed across the street to the State Capitol and to the Old Supreme Court Chambers, Colorado General Assembly, 1410 Grant St, Denver, CO 80203 to meet our state legislators.
How You Can Participate in Advocacy Year-Round
Advocacy is not limited to organized events like Chronic Disease Awareness Day. While we always remain politically neutral, there are times when legislators need to hear from people like you. It's your right to talk to your legislators, and share with them the unique perspective of someone who's life has been touched by multiple sclerosis. We encourage you to contact your state and national legislators and share your personal story with them.
Here are a few tips for telling your story to legislators, provided by the CCC:
- Consider what you know about your legislator
- Consider what you want them to know about what you are advocating for
- Try to find some commonalities with your legislators. It is always easier to chat with someone if you can connect with them
- Tell a story about your “why” – why are you here today? What makes your story important? What are you trying to accomplish by talking to your legislator?
- Remember, your legislator may need your guidance on an issue, help guide them by telling them about your personal experience
- Share what you know about what is happening in your community related to the issue
- Chat respectively at all times so no one gets defensive if they don’t agree
- Be concise
- Don’t be discouraged if your legislator says they do not have a lot of time, they still want to hear from you
- Keep it simple – it is OK to say,” I am here today raising awareness for chronic diseases, I am a constituent and wanted to introduce myself to you”
- If you don’t know the answer to a legislator’s question, it is okay to say “I don’t know”
- Don’t forget to say thank you and to get their business card or email address
Stay Alert! Join Our Advocacy Email List
We'd be happy to update you when legislators need to hear from you most. Just give us your name and email address in the form here, and type any message you'd like to send us. When you hit "Send Email," we'll add you to our list and contact you only when there's a need for your legislators to hear from you.