Holmes 032223Aurora state senator diagnosed with condition in 1996
Individuals with multiple sclerosis and their families in Illinois can be aided by greater awareness and support from their neighbors, classmates and coworkers, according to State Senator Linda Holmes. She is taking action to build that awareness by naming March as MS Awareness Month in Illinois.

After her first flare in 1989 caused her left arm and leg to become temporarily paralyzed, Holmes (D-Aurora) wasn’t officially diagnosed with MS until 1996.

“I feel fortunate to have had the relapsing-remitting type of MS, dealing with only occasional bouts of symptoms, rather than the progressive type,” Holmes said. “I was told at that time that a cure could come within 10 years, and I am still waiting for that day.”

The National MS Society has worked to transform what it means to live with MS and pursues a vision of a world free of the disease. They seek a cure but also to empower people with these sometimes debilitating symptoms to live their best lives.

Generally striking people between ages 20 and 50, the cause of MS is unknown. The neurological disease of the central nervous system affects nearly one million people in the United States.

“When I was diagnosed, I knew I had to get in the best possible shape and live a healthier life,” Holmes said. “I began exercising regularly, and I took up downhill snow skiing — an activity I had always wanted to learn — to help prepare my body for what may be ahead. I want to encourage Illinoisans to be aware of the signs of MS and reach out to help friends or loved ones who may be dealing with it.”

Senate Resolution 124 declares this month as MS Awareness Month in Illinois and recognizes the importance of finding the cause and cure for MS.