May 30: World Multiple Sclerosis Day

This day has been celebrated since 2009 to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis. What does Everest have to do with the celebration of this day since that year? Find out in this article.

día mundial esclerosis múltiple
Communication Team

Telefónica

Reading time: 3 min

Origin of World Multiple Sclerosis Day

World Multiple Sclerosis Day, also known as World MS Day, has been celebrated every 30 May since 2009 and was established by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF).

The first commemoration took place that year to coincide with the milestone of mountaineer Lori Schneider becoming the first person with multiple sclerosis to complete the ascent of Everest, the highest peak on the planet.

It is ‘an international awareness day for all people affected by multiple sclerosis’ that ‘brings together the global MS community to share stories, raise awareness and promote change’.

Although the day itself is on 30 May, as mentioned above, awareness-raising activities take place throughout the month, as well as in early June, complementing the activities of a day of global solidarity, collective action and hope.

2024 y 2025. Navigating Multiple Sclerosis together

The theme of World MS Day 2024-2025 is diagnosis, with the campaign name ‘My Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis’ and the slogan ‘Navigating Multiple Sclerosis Together’.

As the name suggests, the campaign focuses on early and early diagnosis for those with multiple sclerosis by highlighting the global barriers to diagnosis, as well as raising awareness by sharing real stories and data.

The campaign also aims to improve MS education for healthcare professionals, further research and clinical advances in diagnosis by working to build informed and supportive communities and systems that support those with diagnosed MS.

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is one of the most common diseases of the central nervous system (spinal cord and brain) with an estimated three million people worldwide suffering from it.

It is an inflammatory demyelinating disease caused by damage to myelin, a fatty material that insulates nerves. The loss of this insulating layer affects the way nerves conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain and symptoms can be as diverse as blurred vision, weakness in the limbs, tingling sensations, unsteadiness, memory problems or fatigue.

In terms of age, it is most commonly diagnosed between 20 and 40 years of age and is two to three times more common among women than among men for a disease that, although there is no medicine that can cure it, there are treatments that can help to modify its course.

Ramón Arroyo: how to manage uncertainty

The story of Ramón Arroyo became better known thanks to the leap to the big screen thanks to Dani Rovira, Alexandra Jiménez and Karra Elejalde in the film ‘100 metres’.

Ramón, who defines himself as a normal person to whom something extraordinary happened, considers that the worst consequence of suffering from this disease is the uncertainty of not knowing when new outbreaks will appear or what consequences they will bring for each person.

She has learned to manage the uncertainty by communicating and letting those around her know about the situation, as a result of an illness that has changed both her way of living and her outlook on life.

Surrender is not an option

In his book ‘Surrender is not an option’ (‘Rendirse on es una opción’), the economist tells how his life changed drastically when he was diagnosed, and how athletics became his life’s bet.

Faced with the foresight that in a year he would not be able to walk 100 metres (hence the name of the film) he began to dedicate himself to sport and after completing various popular races and marathons he set himself the goal of completing an Ironman.

If you want to know more about Ramón Arroyo’s story, don’t miss this interesting interview in Mejor Conectados (Spanish):


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