Last Minute Christmas Gift: Tickets to Laughs to EndMS!

Don’t miss out on getting some tickets to comedy night!

Comedy MIX is hosting a comedy night with all proceeds going to the MS Society’s Lower Mainland Chapter (LMC).

Click here to purchase tickets:

**Buy tickets before Dec. 1 for a chance to win Canucks tickets!**

Laughs to EndMS

Link to Facebook event page

Special guests:

  • Ivan Decker – featured award-winning comedian
  • Sylvia (Mina) Kolitsopoulos – actress/comedienne hosting the event
  • Mathieson McCrae
  • Vanessa Woznow

Location: Comedy MIX @ the Century Plaza, 1015 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Time: 7 PM (doors open at 6 PM) on Monday, January 19, 2015

Price: $25 each


Laughs to EndMS (Jan. 19)! Chance to Win Canucks Tickets!

Comedy MIX is hosting a comedy night with all proceeds going to the MS Society’s Lower Mainland Chapter (LMC).

Click here to purchase tickets:

**Buy tickets before Dec. 1 for a chance to win Canucks tickets!**


Laughs to EndMS


Link to Facebook event page

Special guests:

  • Ivan Decker – featured award-winning comedian
  • Sylvia (Mina) Kolitsopoulos – actress/comedienne hosting the event
  • Mathieson McCrae
  • Vanessa Woznow

Location: Comedy MIX @ the Century Plaza, 1015 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Time: 7 PM (doors open at 6 PM) on Monday, January 19, 2015

Price: $25 each

Volunteer Profile- Mike Shepherd, FV Board of Directors


Mike Shepherd is an ambitious entrepreneur and successful owner of several businesses in Chilliwack. Earlier this year he was looking for something to get involved in and as luck would have it Erin Coghlan, the current board Chair, reached out and asked him to join.

When asked to describe the board Mike says the one word he would use is passionate and that it’s been an eye opener to see a group of people so self-less and committed to a cause. As he puts it “seeing someone love what they do- it’s contagious!”

He would like to start new fundraising initiatives to increase revenue for support services and MS research. As an entrepreneur, Mike likes looking outside the box and wants to develop more partnerships that link the Society with local businesses, as well as projects that would create on-going income.

Mike truly enjoys contributing to the community and has done so in many capacities, including being a mentor for the entrepreneurship students at Sardis Secondary School, as well as fundraising for BC Children’s Hospital.   Looking forward, Mike’s motivated to take on a leadership position within the Society and jumpstart some new and exciting projects that will positively impact people affected by MS.

Volunteer Profile- Joanne Craven, FV Board of Directors


As a champion fundraiser and advocate, Joanne Craven is a key member of the Fraser Valley MS Society (MSS.) Currently as Vice-Chair for the FV Board, Joanne devotes her time to MSS fundraisers and to making Abbotsford more accessible.

Thirty years ago, Joanne was diagnosed with MS and immediately got involved with the MSS by volunteering for the Carnation campaign. Over the years she’s participated in the first Fraser Valley MS Walk and MS Bike. To mark her 30th year with MS, Joanne recruited a team of over 30 family members and friends for the Abbotsford Walk. She’s now looking forward to Muck MS, the new 5KM outdoor obstacle event happening at Dicklands Farms this October.

In addition to fundraising, Joanne’s very proud of the board’s collaboration with the Abbotsford Parks, Recreation & Culture (PRC) department. Recently implemented, the PRC Special Needs Access Program (SNAP) provides Abbotsford residents, who have permanent disabilities as confirmed by a physician, with a 50% discount on recreation centre drop-in admissions and memberships. Joanne is a firm believer in the benefits of staying active and she is very hopeful that this initiative will help others live a healthy lifestyle.

Looking back on the past 30 years Joanne believes the MSS has made a real difference in the lives of those affected by MS. She is thankful that the Society provides easy access to information, education, and support.

Joanne has really enjoyed working with the MSS and says the best part is “feeling like you’re helping people like yourself, by creating things and making them happen.”   She looks forward to continuing to make a difference and raising much needed funds!


For complete details on the Abbotsford SNAP program, please contact the Parks, Recreation & Culture Office at 604.859.3134.








Shared Voices Book Review


IN THE BOOKWORM’S CORNER- reviewed by Anne Stopps in Shared Voices

We’ve all heard of the Atkins Diet, California Diet, and the Mediterranean Diet: now make way for the Wheat Belly Diet. Eminent cardiologist Dr. William Davis believes the world’s most popular grain is the most destructive dietary ingredient on the market today. As well as gaining a wheatbelly when it is eaten, there is hardly an organ that is not damaged by eating it.

Bread and other foods made from wheat have sustained humans for centuries. However, the wheat that is harvested today is nothing like the original grain. Today there are over 25,000 varieties, most of them coming from the laboratory. So intent were the geneticists on increasing wheat yields to ease world hunger, no animal or human safety testing was ever carried out on the new genetic strains.

In centuries past a prominent belly was a mark of the wealthy, but today anybody can have a big belly. Dr. Davis believes the level of obesity in North America today, which is on a scale never seen before, is a direct result of eating products made from wheat. Now almost every snack or meal contains foods made with it. Modern wheat has the unique capability, among modern grains, to convert quickly to blood sugar. It also has addictive properties that cause us to eat more of it. He calls it the “Haight-Ashbury of foods.”

Dr. Davis links the health problems of North Americans from fatigue, arthritis, IBS and obesity to wheat addiction. Patients following his diet have seen both health improvements and “flop over the belly fat” vanish. They also reported improved mood, fewer mood swings, better concentration and deeper sleep within days to weeks of their last bagel, doughnut or baked lasagna.

Many case studies in the book profile patients who initially had serious health problems, who all seemed to recover once they ventured down the wheat free path. The basics he lists are to eliminate wheat products (either cold turkey or gradually) and replace them with vegetables, raw nuts, healthy meats, eggs, cheeses, (fruit and dairy products in small quantities), plus good oils such as virgin olive or coconut oil. He suggests filling up on a larger portion of baked chicken, green beans, scrambled eggs, or salad. He includes lots of recipes to try out, which you will need to get you started.

If you really want to get serious about getting wheat out of your diet, the Wheat Belly Cookbook is just the ticket for you. The first section describes his theories on eliminating wheat, in which he freely admits that going without wheat can be downright frightening. The main section is then devoted to all the recipes you will ever need: smoothies, soups, mains, salads and desserts to replace wheat with healthy alternatives.

Excellent Website: www.

The Off Balance Dragon Boat Team!

Sunday mornings are the Off Balance Dragon Boat team’s time to get out on the water and exercise. Stroke by stroke, they paddle through False Creek, enjoying the company of each other and the beautiful views of the harbour.

The team is made up of individuals with MS, their caregivers, friends, and family. A core group have dedicated themselves to the team since it started in 2005, and there are many who paddle sporadically. It’s a very welcoming and positive group and they are always recruiting new paddlers. Marg, the team’s coach and former member of the False Creek Women’s team, says “even if you can only paddle part of the time or you feel you don’t have the strength to go the distance (still) come out and try it; if nothing else you get a different view of Vancouver.”

Everyone can participate, thanks to the team effort of helping each other get in and out of the boat, as well as adaptive seats designed by engineers at TETRA. Their seats help stabilize team members who can’t balance on the wooden bench without support.

If you would like to join, come to the docks behind the False Creek Community Centre on Granville Island. The team paddles from 10am to 12pm, April through October, with a special Halloween & reindeer paddle to celebrate the holidays. Coming up on August 23rd the team will be competing at the Steveston Dragon Boat Festival. For more information, please contact Sydney at or watch this video of the team on the water!

alcan 2009 june 20 022

Research Link- Relationship Between Disease-Modifying Therapy and Depression in MS

Relationship Between Disease-Modifying Therapy and Depression in MS

“Many prescribers of disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis believe that interferon beta (IFNB) is more likely that glatiramer acetate (GA) to increase depression during the course of MS treatment.  Therefore, newly diagnosed patients with a history of depression are often placed on GA therapy from the onset of MS treatment.  The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between disease-modifying therapy type and depression among patients with relapsing-remitting MS. Patients with RRMS who remained on a single course of therapy (either IFNB or GA) were asked to complete the Beck Depression Inventory at treatment initiation and every 6 months thereafter for up to 4 years. Neither interferon beta nor glatiramer acetate appeared to exacerbate depressive symptoms in patients with relapsing-remitting MS who remain on their initial therapy”

For the original study by Kirzinger et al : click here


NMO 2nd Annual 5KM Walk/Run

Photo by Cheryl Kathler

Photo by Cheryl Kathler

A bright spring day, a sea of vibrant green shirts, and a courageous mom determined to raise money and support for NMO.

The 2nd Annual Walk/Run for NMO created an electric buzz at Rocky Point Park on June 1st. Nancy Reimer, the determined organizer, remarked “I just had to step back and go whoa.”

Nancy’s son, Riley, was diagnosed with Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) nearly three years ago. Often misdiagnosed as Multiple Sclerosis, NMO is a similar disease, but is diagnosed and treated differently. According to the UBC NMO Clinic, attacks may include severe sudden vision loss or optic neuritis and severe transverse myelitis with evidence of a “long cord lesion” on MRI.

When Riley was diagnosed, Nancy faced the discouraging reality that sufficient resources and support for those affected by NMO did not exist. Out of frustration came her desire to start fundraising and gathering support for her son and others affected by NMO through a charity walk event.

In its second year, the Annual 5KM Walk/Run for NMO was an uplifting and successful family event. Upwards of 450 people arrived ready to don their green t-shirt and walk or run the 5km scenic route together. Riley’s school, Eagle Ridge Elementary, wasa huge supporter and this year’s walk even had out of province participants and a 40 person flash mob from Port Moody School of Dance.

Dr. Traboulsee, an NMO specialist, spoke and drove home the message that fundraising events do make a positive impact on NMO research. Under the banner of “I am Courage, I am not Alone, Standing Together to Find a Cure for NMO” over $20,000 was raised for the UBC NMO Clinic and the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation.

Nancy crossed the finish line with Riley by her side; together they illustrate how an unpredictable disease with no cure can be braved.

For more information on NMO visit the UBC Clinic website: & for information on the services provided by the MS Society visit the MS Society website.

Camps for MS



Hi, I’m Jake. I’m currently heading into Grade 12, and this summer I set up an initiative to help out the MS community. Last year, I became interested in MS after participating in a Philanthropy project. I learned that people with MS struggle in hot weather and become fatigued easily. I wanted to find a way to aid the tired parents.

I love summer camps and St. Georges High School and West Point Grey Academy were my favorites! I contacted both schools and started Camps for MS (CAMS.) If it becomes a success, I hope to involve more schools next summer. If you would like more information contact me at

What does CAMS offer?

  • Free spots to summer camp for kids who have a parent living with MS
  • Spots available at St. Georges High School and West Point Grey Academy’s summer camp
  • For kids ages 5-12
  • Limited # of spots available

To apply download this form –>  CAMS Application and send to

West Point Grey Academy
4125 West 8th


Camps are one week long and run from June 23rd to July 25th. Children ages 4-12 may choose from a variety of camps, from Skimboarding and Weird Science, to Lego and Actor’s Studio. Camp can be for the full day, in the morning from 9-12pm or 1-4pm in the afternoon.
To visit the camp’s website, click here.

St. Georges High School
4175 West 29th

st georges

Camps are one week long and run from June 30th to August 15th. Children ages 5-14 may choose from a variety of camps ranging from robotics and woodworking to Glee club, rhythmic gymnastics and many more! Start and end times vary between the different camps. To visit the camp’s website, click here.

CAMS Application

BC PharmaCare Drug Review

BC PharmaCare is currently undergoing a drug review process of alemtuzumab (LEMTRADA™) and would like your input!!

Deadline is Friday, July 11th. (You don’t need to have tried the drug)

If you are a patient with MS please follow this link
If you are a caregiver please follow this link

Below is the BCPharmacare Drug Information sheet on Lemtrada (alemtuzumab)