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Chennai

India MS Day – Family Outing

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Chennai Chapter to highlight India MS Day 2020 organised a family Picnic to one of the Beach Resorts that is Joe’s Beach Resort, situated along the coast, of the Bay of Bengal.

More than 100 MS persons, their caregivers and children after a breezy bus ride descended on the beach resort, to enjoy a sumptuous lunch, followed by games of Antakshri, Dumb Charades and Bingo. The laughter, the mimicry and acting were so contagious that 3 hours passed by. A very quick dip in the waves was a must for all, and a good hour was passed enjoying the water and lilting of the waves.

A treat of hot tea, vadas and Birthday cake brought the evening to a close and as the sun was setting, the families boarded the buses and headed homewards. It was indeed a very memorable “India MS Day 2020”

Neuro Update 2020

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The “Madras Neuro Trust” organises the “Neuro Update” annually as a continuing educational programme for the practising neurologists and exposing the neurology residents to recent clinical research works being done all over the world. The Chennai Chapter of MSSI is invited for a special session.

This year, Neuro Update 2020 was held on 11/01/2020. Dr Velmurugendran, Secretary, Neuro Update, Chennai, welcomed the gathering. MSSI Chennai Chairperson, Mrs Ann Gonsalvez welcomed the guest speakers and a shawl was presented to each of them by an MS person. A one-hour session for MS persons was chaired by :

Prof. David Zee, M.D, Professor of Neurology, John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, USA. He addressed our MS persons on eye disorder in MS. One of the major vision problems that he focused on is called Nystagmus – the jumping of eyes ( up and down) or changing direction – left to right and its treatment.

Prof. Sarosh Irani, BMBCH MS (Oxon) D Phil FRCP FEAN, Head, Oxford Autoimmune Neurology Group, Associate Professor, University of Oxford, Welcome intermediate clinical fellow, Honorary Consultant Neurology, UK, updated us with latest on NeuroImmunology. He said drugs available to fight or calm down the immune system is being researched on a big scale and he is hopeful it will come into the market in the near future at an affordable cost.

It was a highly interactive session. The MS patients and their caregivers gained more knowledge and felt more educated after attending the session.

Face to Face Programme

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MSSI – Chennai Chapter’s monthly meeting “Face to Face” Programme was a Christmas Celebration on 22.12.2019. It started with a welcome address given by the Hon. Chairperson Mrs. Ann Gonsalvez and then it was handed over to BNY Mellon volunteers.  Mr. Joseph the BNY Volunteer organized a magic show and he introduced the magician to the audience. The Magic Show was for 40 minutes and everyone was entertained by the tricks. The entry of Santa Claus, was welcomed by one and all. Santa distributed gifts to our MSP’s Children and sweets to everyone. Then, BNY Volunteers conducted 3 games, ‘Connection Game’, ‘Jumbled Movie Name’ and ‘Chinese Whisper’. MS Person’s and their caregiver enjoyed the games thoroughly.

After that, a delicious lunch was served for one and all, which was enjoyed thoroughly. A birthday cake was cut by those who celebrated their birthday this month. They are–Ms.Anitha, Mrs.UmaMageshwari and Mr.Rajesh, by singing of happy birthday song by everyone.

The day came to a happy ending by giving gifts to our MS Person and Caregivers.

REPORT ON WORLD DISABILITY DAY

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International Day of Persons with Disability was observed on the 3rd of December 2019. The theme for this year was “The Future is accessible.”

Marina beach is one of the longest beaches in Chennai city. The Greater Chennai Corporation in observing the International Day of Person with Disabilities based on the theme “The Future is accessible”. They organized an ‘accessible walkway’ in Marina Beach for the disabled people to Experience the roaring waves of the Bay of Bengal.

The event was inaugurated by the Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner, Mr.G.Prakash and State Disability Commissioner Mr. Johny Tom Varghese. ‘3 Specialized Wheel Chairs’ were provided by Greater Chennai Corporation to take a ride along the sands and reach the seashore safely and conveniently.

Disabled people came from different organizations and MSSI to experience the seawater. Chennai Chapter team took part in this initiative and a few of the MS Persons accessed the walkway through the beach wheelchair and enjoyed a few moments in the seawater. A dip in the seawater was the joy for many differently-abled persons.

Face to Face Programme

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MSSI  Chennai Chapter monthly “Face to Face” Programme held on 23-11-2019 started with the Meditation session by Dr. R.J Kalpana on the topic “Learn to meditate, Heartfulness Meditation with Yogic Transmission”. It was a 40-minute online session. Our MS Persons and their caretakers enjoyed and felt relaxed at the end of the meditation session which in turn helped them to stay active for the next session.

The guest speaker for the programme was Dr. Ravi Samuel, one of the Chennai’s eminent psychotherapists, who has over 20 years’ experience in treating people with emotional, behavioural, psychological, psychiatric problems, corporate mental health, etc. He has had professional training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy by Mr. Allan Davidson, Cognitive Behavior Therapist at Dept. of Clinical Neurology, Institute of Neurology and National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London. He addressed our MS persons and their caregivers on the topic “ Caring for the Carers”.

He focused on mental well-being, for MS persons and Caregivers and how to handle the emotional effects, organize and fight within ourselves. He explained the healing process which was very informative and useful for our caregivers as they were able to relate it and make it has an interactive session.

As a coping mechanism, the counsellors Ms. Gayathri and Ms. Kavya who teamed up with Dr. Ravi Samuel taught us few breathing techniques. There was a question and answer session where our MS persons and caregivers clarified their doubts.

A birthday cake was cut by those who celebrated their birthday this month. They are  – Mrs. Ann Gonsalvez, Mr. Sivakumar, Mr. Raghunathan, Mrs. Lucy Nathan and Ms.   Keerthana by singing of happy birthday song by everyone.

Delicious snacks and tea brought the meeting to a close.

BNY Mellon Mega CSR Day

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November 4, 2019: is marked as Mega CSR Day for BNY Mellon, our CSR partner in Chennai.  BNY Mellon organised a walk for creating awareness on “Multiple Sclerosis” inside DLF IT park campus which houses more than 21 IT companies.   More than 350 of BNY Mellon employees took time off from their daily routine and volunteered to walk along with our MS persons and their caregivers by holding placards and banners of MSSI, which spoke volumes for Multiple Sclerosis.

We were able to create awareness among the young employees of 21 IT companies, maybe 5000 or more who witnessed the walk.

Diwali Celebration and Caregivers Month

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MSSI – Chennai Chapter monthly meeting “Face to Face” Programme was a Diwali Celebration on 19.10.2019. Games like identifying the personalities, dumb charades and let’s talk in Tamil, was organised by our CSR partner – BNY Mellon volunteers. The game of housie was also part the game for the evening and for every game prizes were given to the winners.

The month of October is also dedicated to our caregivers. In order to give tribute to caregivers, a video was screened on their beautiful moments with our MS Person. To honour the Caregivers for their timeless efforts in taking care of their loved ones, we gifted the spouses, the siblings, the parent, the children, the friend of the MS person.

• Mr. Anzar – Best Care Giver Spouse – Msp. Vajiya banu
• Mrs. Shaheem – Best Care Giver Spouse – Msp. Mohammed Wassim.
• Mrs.Parvathi – Best Care Giver Mother –Msp. Monalisa
• Mr. Sadhasivam and Mrs. Santhakumari – Best Care Giver Parents –Msp. Smitha
• Mrs. Subashini – Best Care Giver Sister and Friend –Msp. Uma Mageshwari
• Ms. Roshini – Best Care Giver Daughter –Msp Farzana
• Mr. Utharanaryanan – Best Care Giver Son –Msp.Saraswathy

A birthday cake was cut by those who celebrated their birthday this month. They are Ms. Kalaivani and Mrs. Parveen, by singing of happy birthday song by everyone.

The meeting ended with a high tea.

The evening came to a happy ending with MS person and Caregivers, by distributing Diwali gifts and sweets to each family and wishing them Happy Diwali.

Awareness Programme at Colleges

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The awareness programme on Multiple Sclerosis was conducted in three colleges on various dates in the last month.

1. Loyola College, Chennai.
2. Mar Gregorius College, Chennai.
3. Dharmamurthi Rao Bhahadur Calavala Cunnan Chetty’s Hindu College, Pattabiram, Chennai.

The main aim of this awareness programme was to make young students aware that there is an autoimmune disease called “Multiple Sclerosis”, also called “Crippler of the Young Adults”. Apart from that, the introduction of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Chennai Chapter, that looked after the welfare of the persons affected by it and its activities.

So far we have covered Social Work Colleges. The students actively participated during the session and leaflets were given to them to study more about this orphan disease. Many have opted to do internships with us.

Face to Face programme

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MSSI – Chennai Chapter monthly “Face to Face” Programme was held on 27-07-2019. The Chief Guest for the day was Dr. Alpha Khakhar practising Gynecologist, Obstetrician & Gynecologist and a Urogynecologist with an experience of 18 years.

Dr. Alpha Khakhar addressed the gathering on the topic “Multiple sclerosis and Incontinence”. She explained the connection between the brain and bladder. She also gave a case study of an actor Ms. Selma Blair an actress who is also diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and lives positively with the “will power” as an example of our MSP’s. She also explained about urinary incontinence diagnosis and assessment procedure followed by the treatment process. She spoke on Diet and nutrition to try gluten-free food. And she also focused on two important aspects i.e. exercise and stress management in that she specified the “Laughter therapy”. After the session, our CSR partners – BNY Mellon volunteers conducted games for the MS person and caregivers, followed by our MS persons Ms. Banumathy, Ms. Farzana, Ms. Gomathi birthday celebrations. Everyone had delicious Snacks and the meeting came to a happy ending.

Face to Face Program held on 22-06-2019

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The Chief Guest for the day was Dr. Prithika Chary, Consultant Neurologist & Neurosurgeon and Chief Neurologist at Kauvery Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in Chennai. She was the first and only lady in India to be qualified as both Neuro physician and Neurosurgeon.

Dr. Prithika Chary addressed the MS persons and their caregivers on the topic “Current treatment options for Multiple Sclerosis.” She started the session by giving a brief introduction about the MS and followed by the treatment process for the MS by explaining in detail about the Medicines available for MS and the treatment for each type of MS. She also focused on lifestyle changes, diet, nutrition, and the importance of Physical therapy ( exercise). She shared her personal life experience with Cancer, how she survived with it and how she overcame it. The session was for 1 ½ hour. Through her life sharing experiences, she created an impactful speech to our MS person which was very motivating and inspirational for them. There were around 45 MS patients and caregivers benefited from her talk. MS persons and caregivers were very attentive and participated actively by interacting with the resource person.

5 MS persons celebrated their Birthday by cutting cakes with their other MS friends singing Happy Birthday and everyone had their delicious snacks and meeting came to a happy ending.