In my 25 years with the National MS Society, people have shared hundreds of “MS stories” – stories of struggle, of pain, of heartache, as well as stories of optimism, of the power of possibility – each as unique as the individual people living with multiple sclerosis and the strength of those who love and care about them.

In the digital age, we are redefining the word “community.” Our communities are no longer just our neighbors, our families, our coworkers – they are also our Facebook friends, the members of our online support groups, the bloggers whose experience of MS resonate with our own.

Information now lives everywhere, but finding the right information when you need it can often be difficult. And, once you find it, it sometimes seems as though it’s written in a foreign language. What if you could more readily find what you were looking for and what if the information was presented in a more understandable way? What if you could ask questions to others with your shared interests or get answers to your questions from experts in the field?

The National MS Society is excited to launch this new blog. It’s an important step – one of many – to help us connect those affected by MS to the information and people that help move lives forward. Connecting to create a world free of MS – we are stronger together than we are apart. It is only fitting that we start the conversation here at the largest annual international conference devoted to basic and clinical research in multiple sclerosis – the 5th joint congress of the European and Americas Committees for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS / ACTRIMS).

This week in Amsterdam, thought-leaders from around the globe are coming together to share cutting-edge and breaking MS research news – and you will have a front row seat. Over the next several days, Dr. Julie Stachowiak, Science/Medical writer for About.com, and Kate Milliken, video producer – who are both living with MS – will provide daily research updates and video from the conference. Please check back in to this blog over the next few days and share your thoughts and questions as we explore how the research community is working to STOP MS in its tracks, RESTORE lost function and END MS forever!

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The National MS Society