During the month of June, the Ross Medical Education Center Morgantown, West Virginia campus participated in the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America’s Street Squad. Not sure what the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America’s Street Squad is? Street Squad members work to spread the word about and raise awareness for multiple sclerosis using a variety of social channels and community events.
According to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America website, “Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable disorder that can cause a variety of symptoms, which for many can flare-up and then subside over the course of days, months, or even years. While MS is not contagious, its causes are not yet fully understood and researchers continue to search for answers.”
For many at the campus, the cause hits close to home. “Several of our students, staff, and faculty have a personal connection to the disease,” said Dorie Alger, Campus Director. “I have a close friend who has been challenged by the disease since she was first diagnosed in 1995. However, she has never let it beat her.” Inspired by the stories of those they know that have the condition, the Ross team worked hard to get the word out.
Members of the Street Squad took to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share weekly and daily posts to raise awareness. A large portion of the posts featured the Swim for MS (http://support.mymsaa.org/site/TR?fr_id=1410&pg=entry), a do-it-yourself fundraiser where participates create their own swim challenge and recruit donations to support the MS community. As a result of their posts, there were a few swimmers who rose to the challenge. “My neighbor is an avid swimmer and completes 50 laps every day,” said Monica Franklin, Finanancial Aid Student Support Representative. “She loves the idea and is preparing for her event later this summer!”
Students even had their own little internal competition. The evening students posted twice as much as the day students. “We wanted to make a statement,” said Kayla Wilson, current student in the Morgantown Medical Assistant program. “We wanted to show how much of a difference a small group could make.” Whitney Cooper, Office Assistant, agreed. “If everyone took the time to learn and share how life altering this disease can be…maybe we would eradicate Multiple Sclerosis all together.” To celebrate the campus’ participation in the event, students were treated to a pizza party.