Young people with MS | MSIF

Young people with MS

The majority of people are diagnosed with MS when they are in their 20s or 30s. This is often a time when people are seeking higher eduction, forging careers, finding long-term partners and considering starting a family. 

The theme for World MS Day 2013 was chosen to be young people with MS, and the campaign will feature six inspiring young people from around the world, who will share the mottos that give them strength. Find out more here.

To support this theme we have produced an edition of MS in focus on young people with MS. This is now available to download in English, Spanish, French, German and Arabic. We have also conducted a survey of more than 4,600 young people with MS – read the results here.

Many of our member organisations offer support for young people:

MS Society of Canada
German MS Society
Swiss MS Society
Norwegian MS Society
Italian MS Society
MS Ireland
Spanish MS Association
Shift.ms
Flemish MS Society, Belgium
Belgian French-speaking MS Society
MS Society of Portugal


MS Society of Canada
Someonelikeme.ca and Commemoi.ca are unique websites which feature blogs, information, forums and inspirational stories of young people affected by MS. Many young people express that they feel very alone after receiving a diagnosis for themselves or a family member. Someonelikeme and Commemoi help fill that need by creating a community of people who understand and want to share their stories and encouragement with each other. We invite young people aged 15-35 from across the world to visit, share, join and find support and inspiration.

The MS Summer Camp offers the opportunity for youth (ages 8-21) with MS to enjoy a week of fun and adventure (pictured below) while providing respite from the stresses associated with MS. Campers are also introduced to older peers who have followed their dreams despite their MS diagnosis. One camper said “Camp makes me feel
comfortable and not alone with this disease. The one week of MS camp makes a huge difference in my life!” 

(Contact: kidsandteenscamp@mssociety.ca or www.mssociety.ca/camp)



German MS Society
There are many programmes for young people around the regions in Germany including discussion groups, workshops, information events, camps (contact: www.u30-camp.de), websites (www.kinder-und-ms.de) and a German-speaking international community on Facebook of about 450 members.

(Contact: DMSG, Bundesverband e.V.; Gabriele Seestaedt, email: dmsg@dmsg.de)

Swiss MS Society
Annual MS Youth Congress

In 2012, the Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Society launched the first annual MS Youth Congress in Zurich, Switzerland. This event is for young people with MS and their caregivers. It offers a platform for discussion and workshops, as well as lectures
by experts. Young people can get together and exchange views and opinions, and are also given the opportunity to make suggestions to the MS Society for future programmes and services. 

(Contact: Kathryn Schneider, kschneider@multiplesklerose.ch)

Norwegian MS Society
For families who have a child with MS: This 3-4 day annual meeting aims to give children and young people with MS and their families the opportunity to meet and network with other families. Through knowledge, games and social activities we give families tools to cope with MS in everyday life. 

(Contact: Gurli Vagner, gurli@ms.no)


Local meetings for young people: Young people from branches are invited three times a year to meet other young people and exchange experiences, so they can advise other young people in their local branch. 

(Contact: Bjørn-Anders Foss Iversen, bafi@ms.no)

Italian MS Society
National Conference of Young People with MS
Since 2009, this two-day event brings together 250 young people to discuss the research, therapies, MS management and issues related to young people with MS. A group of young people help plan the conference, which offers question and answer
sessions with top MS researchers and clinicians, as well as discussion groups on topics such as starting a family, employment and disclosure, and rights and empowerment. For many young people, attending the conference is their first opportunity to meet other people with MS and to connect with the MS Society. 

(Contact: Silvia.Traversa@aism.it)



MS Ireland is working to support young people with MS and provide opportunities for them to engage with each other. For example, information evenings for people newly diagnosed with MS which look at social/government supports, counselling services and the role of regional community workers; an informal group run by young people in Dublin (www.meetup.com/Dublin-Multiple-Sclerosis-Group); a social group for young people in Cork; and a physiotherapy, yoga and exercise programme.

(Contact: www.ms-society.ie or info@ms-society.ie)

Spanish MS Association
Association of Salamaca: “Fresh Air”

This programme aims to meet the needs of people 18 to 40 years. It offers a chance to know other young people who have MS, learn about MS and how to adapt to it, and share their concerns with each other or with professionals. 

(Contact: Estafania M. Caselles, info@adem.org)


Association from Jaén, Virgen del Carmen
Get-together for young people with MS. This peer support group for young people offers
them an opportunity to meet others, share experiences and relax together. 

(Contact: Marcos David Cabrera Barranco, Youth Representative on Executive Board of AJDEM, ajdem.joven@gmail.com)

Shift.ms is a global community of young, friendly and positive MSers. Members can share, support and interact with each other throughout the site. Shift.ms believes that MS doesn’t mean giving up on your ambitions, just rethinking how to achieve them. Find out more and join at www.shift.ms

Flemish MS Society (MS-Liga Vlaanderen vzw)
Over the last couple of months, a think-thank group was created amongst young persons with MS (under 35s) to help with the creation of a new website: www.msjongeren.be

The site is acting as a space to share experiences, make social connections with people in the same situation and provide information. It has been designed to be as interactive as possible where young people with MS have complete control and can post texts, photos and videos. The site was launched on World MS Day 2012.

Other activities for young persons with MS generally focus on meets and social activities.

(Contact: Katrien Tytgat)

Belgian French-speaking MS Society (Ligue Belge de la Sclérose en Plaques – Communauté Française)
A website, www.seppassorcier.be, was created for children with a parent with MS. It also serves the needs of young people with MS as well as professionals (neurologists, physiotherapists, schoolteachers). The site features cartoon mascots (Leila & Elliot) and is informative, entertaining and attractive to give a better understanding of the disease and its consequences. The site has been launched at World MS Day 2012.

The society also publishes Journal De Myéland for young people who cannot access the website.

(Contact: Jeoffroy Rombaut or Cédric Declaye)

MS Society of Portugal (Sociedade Portuguesa de Esclerose Múltipla - SPEM) has launched the Energias Múltiplas programme to bring young people together. The group provides young people a place to meet, socialise and organise workshops and fundraising events. 

You can find the group on Facebook.

(Contact: Paula Cruz)