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Locals pick up community Multiple Sclerosis Society award



Abbotsford MS volunteer Joanne Craven (bottom), who lives with MS, holds one of six 2018 awards.







or 34 years, Abbotsford resident Joanne Craven has lived with multiple sclerosis (MS). Instead of letting her diagnosis take over her life, it fueled her to raise awareness about the disease which resulted into helping more people affected by MS than she could have imagined.

Over the years, Joanne has been involved with the MS Walk, MS Bike, Muck MS, Abbotsford Self Help Group and was the former chair of the MS Society of Canada Fraser Valley Chapter Board. Her inspiring efforts in volunteering, public awareness and community leadership has made a significant impact to the MS community in Abbotsford.

“Being a member of the MS community is important to me as I feel that I can help others affected by MS. With my many local connections I can help put staff members in touch with local people,” says Joanne.

She was presented with the 2018 BC & Yukon Division’s MS Champion Award along with Sherri Mytopher from Fort St. John, BC. They were among the seven individuals who were recognized for their exceptional volunteer efforts for the organization, on Nov. 3 at the inaugural MS Connect ’18 conference in Sheraton Guildford Vancouver Hotel.

“Winning this award means the world to me,” exclaims Joanne. “My daughter has followed my footsteps in volunteering extensively with the MS Society and I am very proud of her for doing that.”



When: Thursday November 22, 2018 12:00PM to 2:30PM
Where: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

• Individual $125
• Table (10 seats) $1250
• VIP $175
• VIP “Circle of Influence” Tables (10 seats) $1750








First trials underway in Vancouver



Craig Elliott receives of Early Primary Progressive MS PPMS







or 14 years, Vancouver resident Craig Elliott, who is living with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS), and his family have been waiting for a therapeutic advancement for the treatment of progressive MS and have gotten the go-ahead.


Elliott, who is a Partner in an accounting firm and a father of two, ages 17 and 15, received his first infusion of ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) - the first drug on the market conditionally approved by Health Canada for treatment of early PPMS, a form of the disease characterized by a steady worsening of neurological function. Ocrevus is said to act as an immunomodulatory drug that targets and removes potentially harmful cells in people living with MS.


His wife Cindy, who is a practice consultant with Providence Health Care, said she and Elliot could not be more excited about this new development that is happening just before the fourth annual Women Against MS luncheon taking place on November 22 in Vancouver where they will be in attendance.


Craig and I could not be more thrilled to see the progress MS research has made and that we are benefiting from the efforts of researchers, donors, health care providers and fundraisers.”


Having only been conditionally approved this year, the treatment is considered new but that doesn’t change the optimism the Elliotts feel, they say.


“We now have something to try which is reason alone to be hopeful,” says Cindy. “And in time, we will see firsthand what sort of difference the treatment might make. We are so grateful for that opportunity.”



Primary-progressive MS is characterized by a slow accumulation of disability, without defined relapses. Approximately 15 per cent of people diagnosed with MS have primary-progressive MS. About five per cent of people diagnosed with PPMS experience occasional relapses with steadily worsening disease from the beginning.

On February 14, 2018 ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) was approved, with conditions, by Health Canada as monotherapy for the management of adult patients with early primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) as defined by disease duration and level of disability. This is in conjunction with imaging features characteristic of inflammatory activity. Health Canada previously approved ocrelizumab for the treatment of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) in August 2017.

For more information on how Ocrevus works, visit the MS Society’s disease-modifying therapies page and check out the ocrelizumab FAQ.


About WAMS

Women Against Multiple Sclerosis is a powerful network of women building MS awareness, and raising critical research funds for better treatments and a cure for MS.  The BC chapter was formed in 2015 by a determined group of female researchers, business leaders and professionals with a keen desire to use their knowledge and influence to inspire others to support the fight to end MS.


Since then, WAMS has raised over $305,000 towards a new generation of ground-breaking Canadian researchers working together to find a cure for MS. In addition to raising funds for MS research and support, the WAMS Luncheon is a networking event that provides table purchasers and sponsors high profile exposure.


About multiple sclerosis and the MS Society of Canada

Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world with 11 Canadians diagnosed with MS every day. MS is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system comprising the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40 and the unpredictable effects of the disease last for the rest of their lives. The MS Society provides programs and services for people with MS and their families, advocates for those living with MS, and funds research to help improve the quality of life for people living with MS and to ultimately find a cure for this disease. Please visit mssociety.ca or call 1-800-268-7582 to make a donation or for more information. Join the conversation and connect with the MS community online. Find the MS Society on Twitter, Instagram or like our page on Facebook.


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