From February 1st to March 18th MS Ireland, our national MS society, is taking part in Kiss Goodbye to MS, the first global major fundraising campaign that raises funds purely for multiple sclerosis research. Because of the reach of the initiative, it has the potential to accelerate around the world.
Kiss Goodbye to MS started in Australia a few years ago and finally went global. Big names have added some clout to the events, like Shemar Moore of Criminal Minds whose mother lives with MS. Also, US actress Amy Schumer has spoken up about her father’s MS while Odile Frosini in France encouraged her students to go ‘red’. In Ireland, our own Rosanna Davison, Irish Ambassador, nutritional therapist, chart-topping author, as well as ex-Miss World, is helping spread the word to literally, kiss goodbye to MS.
Other countries like Argentina, Mexico, Greece, Denmark, Sweden and New Zealand have joined the campaign in a bid to unify the world to increase funding for global MS research. As more people are diagnosed because of better imaging techniques, the race for a cure is on.
As I am writing this, the notion that a cure is merely a race to the finish line seems perhaps, too hastily said. Countries have seen economies shrink or expand, with funding for research inevitably impacted negatively.
In a previous post about government spending in Ireland, I asked the question if it was fair that people with disabilities should help fix a broken health department. A similar question can be asked about the Kiss Goodbye to MS campaign also; is it fair that people with MS should push governments, multinationals and smaller businesses towards public and private funding. This is why KGtoMS was created.
MS Research Australia saw Kiss Goodbye to MS raise their profile with thankfully, added continued growth as ten countries are now working together to raise funds in 2016. Fourteen others are considering joining in 2017, with hopefully more to follow.
Having met people with MS from around the world, one thing that continues to surprise me is that we all share that, “We can do it, we have the passion, the determination, the urge even just to get out there and rock that boat!” In doing so, the campaign went from an awareness initiative to a fundraising one. Critical MS research in Australia now benefits from this, as all nett money raised goes to research.
The MS International Federation (MSIF) saw the success the Australia campaign had over the years and how other countries showed interest in doing something similar. They officially adopted the KGtoMS campaign as “an important initiative in the federation’s global fundraising strategy.” Because of its positivity, empowerment and the hope it brings to younger people, MSIF wanted to show people affected by MS that fundraising doesn’t always have to be a fancy, gala dinner event. It boils down to this: anyone can play an active part in fundraising for MS and do so in any shape or form.
Richelle King, Kiss Goodbye to MS Campaign Manager in Australia said that they will work together with countries adopting the campaign to ensure a “smooth collaboration to maximise this exciting opportunity and facilitate the growth of MS research funding worldwide.”
The campaign calls on supporters to wear, dare or share to fundraise between February 1st and March 18th. Irish #KissGoodbyeToMS selfies are already all over Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Red Challenge: Pucker up and grab your favourite lipstick or anything red, take a photo and nominate your friends to do the same.
Wear Red Day: Organise a wear red day in your office, school or local club. We will send you out a ‘Kiss Goodbye to MS Pack’ with everything you need.
Transferable Tattoos: Don’t want to pucker up or wear red, no problem we can send you one of our fantastic Kiss Goodbye to MS transferable Tattoos and selfie Lip Sticks just fill out the contact form and we will get it to you.
Don’t forget to tag us in any photos using #kissgoodbyetoms and make a €4 donation by texting Smooch to 50300. 100% of your donation goes to MS Ireland across most network operators. Some operators apply VAT which means that a minimum of €3.25 will go to MS Ireland. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 0766805278
Whilst wearing red lipstick might be daring enough for some people, others will go to extreme lengths to Kiss Goodbye to MS. You can dare yourself or a friend, family member or colleague to do something outside your or their comfort zone for MS. Maybe it’s a fun run, a sponsored walk or quitting coffee for the month. If you are feeling very brave you can sign up to MS Ireland’s own Kiss Goodbye to MS Skydive dare.
Experience the rush of jumping out of a plane and gliding through the air with the Kiss Goodbye to MS Skydive on May 22nd. You can dare yourself, a work colleague or friends to do a jump for MS Ireland.
“We are a social bunch here at MS Ireland and we want you to join us and share all your photos of lipstick selfies, tattoos, red days, coffee mornings and of course your dares on facebook, twitter, Instagram using the #kissgoodbyetoms”.
“Multiple Sclerosis Ireland is the only national organisation providing information, support and advocacy services to the MS community. We work with people with MS, their families and carers and a range of key stakeholders including health professionals, students and other interested in or concerned about MS to ensure that we meet our goals.”
“MS Ireland is chiefly a service-driven organisation, focused on providing timely, person-centred services that create independence and choice for a person with MS and their family.
For more information on Multiple Sclerosis or MS Ireland please visit our website.”
Kiss Goodbye to MS
Multiple Sclerosis Ireland
80 Northumberland Road
Ireland – DO4 T856
Chy Number: CHY05365
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 01 6781600
© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2016. Unauthorized use and duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner are strictly prohibited.