Exercising with MS


Check out this exercise video playlist presented by former Olympic champion, Sally Gunnell. It was developed by the UK MS Society and includes a 10 minute warm up, 14 minute workout, and 8 minute cool down. It’s easy & fun to follow along to.

Exercises can:

  • improve the overall health of people with milder MS
  • help people with more severe MS to stay as mobile and active as possible
  • help some people manage MS symptoms and decrease the risk of heart disease
  • improve muscle strength and fitness, helping with mobility or weakness problems
  • help manage weight control, especially when combined with a healthy, well-balanced diet

So give it a go!



Peer Support Program


The Peer Support Program provides individuals with MS the opportunity to connect with a trained peer support volunteer, who also has MS, and can talk openly and honestly on day to day issues concerning MS.

The philosophy behind the PSP is that peers can provide a crucial and unique type of support that someone without MS, a professional or layperson, cannot provide. Receiving support from someone who is going through, or has gone through, the same experience is sometimes more helpful than receiving support from a professional.

For more information or to be matched with a peer support volunteer, please contact the Lower Mainland Chapter, by calling Veronica at 604-689-3144 or emailing veronica.grossi@mssociety.ca. It is a free and completely confidential service.


Research Link- MS Progression Linked to Atrophy of Grey Matter

A study by Cecilie Jacobsen et. al was recently published on the atrophy of grey and white matter in persons with MS over a 10 year period.  Their study goals were to find MRI biomarkers associated with long-term progression of disability in persons with MS.  Their results showed that grey matter atrophy seen on MRI is more closely linked to MS progression than white matter atrophy.  81 individuals with MS were involved in the 10 year follow-up study.  Investigators calculated percentage volume change of white and grey matter between different time points to determine changes in global and tissue-specific atrophy.  Increase in the Expanded Disability Status Scale of ≥1.0 from baseline to 5-year and 10-year follow-up determined disability progression.

Overall, grey matter atrophy showed better association with disease progression than white matter atrophy over 5-year and 10-year follow-up. The study authors say “assessment of grey matter pathology may add to the understanding of the disease progression in MS” and help overcome the clinical-MRI paradox of MRI not being well known to correlate very well with clinical outcomes.

To read Dr. Laurie Barclay’s article on the study click here.

Original study is published in Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry

brain atrophy

The MRI image above shows atrophy from a different study on relapsing remitting MS.

Volunteer Profile- Jason Low, LMC Board of Directors


Even though Jason Low is a relatively new member of the Lower Mainland Chapter’s Board of Directors, he’s already making an impact. As the first board member to take on the chapter’s social media accounts, Jason has demonstrated innovation and conscientiousness by learning how to create and successfully run our Facebook, WordPress, and Twitter accounts. A Senior Management Consultant and frequent traveler for business, Jason still manages to make time for volunteering; previously volunteering at the Kelowna General Hospital and the Golden Key International Honour Society.

One year ago the MS Society post on Go Volunteer caught Jason’s eye. It mentioned that the chapter was going through some changes and Jason was eager to help out during a period of transition.

Now that he’s been on the board for over a year he’s led a Scotiabank MS Walk team and is running a social media contest. He describes his fellow board members as warm and friendly and says that meetings can easily stretch longer than 2 hours because everyone is good to talk to. He believes the board strives to create more awareness about MS and to increase the events and services available for people affected by MS.

Jason has truly enjoyed hearing the transformative stories people have told him about living with MS; so much so that his social media content entry for “What does MS mean to me?” was entitled Many challenges, but More Successes! He emphasizes how no matter what step you take with MS, whether good or bad, you are constantly making little changes, like joining a self-help group or going gluten-free, and that these changes combined with a strong support group can lead you to focus on the bright side of MS.

In the future Jason would like to continue raising awareness about MS by joining a SnapQuest team and getting more people engaged with the LMC MS Society’s Facebook Page. Jason is thankful to the board for letting him develop new social media skills and for the opportunity to volunteer in a different capacity than he has before.


Massage Program Overview

West Coast College of Massage Therapy (WCCMT), at 613 Columbia Street in New Westminster, offers an Inreach Program for people living with MS.

Here is a brief overview:

  • At the term’s beginning, participants choose a specific time and day per week, and commit to the 14-week term.
  • Wednesday times are 4:15, 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00
  • Fridays have two sessions: the first is at 9:30 am, 10:45, 12:30 and 1:45. The second session is 4:15, 5:30, 6:45 and 8:00 pm.
  • Each session is 60 minutes (including assessment) and presently costs $13 (most buy a card of six at $65).
  • Up to seven people go at a time, in a common room with tables separated by curtains.
  • Each has his/her own student, with a supervisor in attendance to advise specific treatment or to answer questions.
  • Class size each term determines the number of participants. This can be as low as 42 and as high as 96.

Besides the many benefits of massage, a mini support group usually develops. Some have found their fear of becoming less mobile lessens when they see those who use various aids – canes, walkers, wheelchairs and scooters – living successfully. Others simply enjoy the social aspect.
If you are interested in joining this wonderful and affordable program, please call Brenda at 604.451.8616 or email fiery-one@telus.net. Although the spaces are currently filled, you will be put on the cancellation list to fill in until a permanent spot becomes available.pic8

Contest Submission – Lisa

Dear MS Society,

I will apologize first of all for the lack of creativity, poignant reflection or a cheerful
thought. But MS has had a huge impact on my life.

I’ve ”lost” my son, Oliver.

My MS diagnosis ended my marriage, and though we have shared custody my
son chooses to live with his dad. Oliver is now 14. When he was younger he
could just crawl into bed with me. We were very close, but now at this age he
obviously needs his own space. At this time I can’t afford to have a two bedroom
so that he could stay over.

He doesn’t even really visit. At 14 his mind is on his friends, his computer and
video games. We can all remember being a teenager, ”why put in the effort if I’m
going to be bored”……

With this Xbox 360, it would be my wish to be able to re engage with Oliver as
he is a TRUE GAMER! His friends and adults alike can not believe his motor
skills. I would LOVE to invite him over and play some video games with him. It
would mean the world to me, and I’m pretty sure Oliver as well 🙂

Lisa - Contest Entry