MS Connection Blog


My Giving Story

Blog Summary

My uncle was the first in my family diagnosed with MS. That was in the late 1930s, when diagnosis of MS was an extremely difficult and tedious process. In those days, there were only a few neurologists fully knowledgeable about the disease, and no one really knew very much about it at all. He was a musician — a concert pianist. Shortly after his diagnosis, it became clear that he was no longer going to play the piano, professionally or otherwise. And, as we all know, there were no treatments available at that time. He died in the early 1940s just a few years after his diagnosis.

So where was the National MS Society when all this was going on? It did not yet exist. In fact, the Society wouldn’t be founded until several years later in the mid-1940s when Sylvia Lawry put her ad in the New York Times trying to get information about the disease with which her brother had recently been diagnosed. So — no effective treatments, very little knowledge outside of a few significant medical centers, nothing in the way of organized programs or services for people whose lives were affected...