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National MS Society Names Richard Durbin as Senator of the Year

May 08, 2008

National MS Society Names Richard Durbin as Senator of the Year

Award Recognizes Fight for MS Research Funding, Healthcare Initiatives

WASHINGTON, DC—The National Multiple Sclerosis Society honored U.S. Senator Richard “Dick” Durbin of Illinois as its 2007 Senator of the Year. The award was presented May 8, 2008, at the Society’s annual gathering of MS activists in Washington, DC. This is the highest honor the Society awards to public officials.

“The Society applauds Senator Durbin for his work to benefit people living with multiple sclerosis, securing a new avenue of MS research funding through a Department of Defense and his support of disability rights,” Society President and CEO Joyce Nelson said. “His accomplishments are certainly deserving of the National MS Society’s 2007 Senator of the Year.”

The Society’s Greater Illinois Chapter in Chicago and Gateway Area Chapter covering southern Illinois nominated Senator Durbin for the award, applauding recent efforts that have helped benefit people in Illinois and nationwide who live with multiple sclerosis. Among all members of the U.S. Senate, Durbin was selected as the member whose leadership and dedication to healthcare issues most significantly impacted the lives of people with MS.

“Multiple sclerosis is a challenging disease that affects hundreds of thousands of Americans,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said. “I hope our efforts on the federal level can assist in unraveling the mystery of MS. We must do everything we can to increase research into diagnosing and treating this disease while working to improve the lives of those living with MS. I thank the Society for this wonderful award, but the tireless work of advocates on this issue deserves the real recognition.”

Senator Durbin has been a steady ally, working diligently to bring about change and help for people living with MS and for their families. He is widely considered Illinois’ strongest healthcare advocate.

Senator Durbin is recognized for many accomplishments, including:

  • Working to secure federal funding for MS research through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs in the Department of Defense.
  • Strongly supporting legislation that will positively impact the lives of people with MS, such as the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, Ending the Medicare Disability Waiting Period Act, and a bill to repeal the Medicare outpatient rehabilitation therapy caps.
  • Supporting increased funding for the National Institutes of Health and disability programs, and being a long-time supporter of rights for Americans with disabilities.

For more information on the Illinois chapters of the Society and Illinois programs for people living with MS, visit:www.nationalMSsociety.org/chapter

For more information on Senator Durbin’s initiatives, visit:http://durbin.senate.gov

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn’t. We help each person address the challenges of living with MS. In 2006 alone, through our home office and 50-state network of chapters, we devoted nearly $126 million to programs that enhanced more than one million lives. To move us closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested more than $46 million to support 380 research projects around the world. We are people who want to do something about MS now.

Studies show that early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy may reduce future disease activity for many people with multiple sclerosis. Talk to your health care professional and contact the National MS Society at www.nationalMSsociety.org or 1-800-344-4867 to learn about ways to help manage multiple sclerosis and about current research that may one day reveal a cure.