Ahmed Darwish from Egypt has won the 2015 James D. Wolfensohn Award. He was nominated for the award by the MS Care Society.
The MS Care Society described Ahmed as “an incredible pioneer who has created a community for people affected by MS in Egypt. He has been at the centre of every activity and change in the lives of as many as 3,000 people affected by MS in Egypt and the Arab region.
He is the driving force behind an army of volunteers working around the clock. His unique style of leadership means that he is the leader who creates leaders.
The award recognises the vital contribution of people with MS to the global MS movement
Ahmed is the founder and vice president of MS Care in Cairo, Egypt. He has also founded a support group in Alexandria and another in Delta. He focuses on helping people in less privileged areas to access treatment and supports their caregivers too.
Ahmed has strong ties with the global MS movement with a firm belief in the added value of working together for one cause.
Above all, Ahmed is everyone’s friend. He is the father, the son, the brother and the best friend of all MS Care’s stakeholders who think very highly of him. He is the hero of the MS community in Egypt.”
Ahmed will use the award money to support a project which aims to empower people with MS to have home-based jobs by teaching them handicraft skills.
When presented with the award, Ahmed said:
“I would like to thank the fate that put me in this struggle and changed my life. Maybe I wouldn’t have done all this if I didn’t suffer from MS.
I would also like to tell every MS patient not to lose hope. You are special and you can rediscover yourself all over again. You will be amazed at the things you will discover within you.
This is a call to every MS patient, let’s look at this disease from a different perspective. Let our slogan be “MS is a way of life, not the end of life.”
This year, we received 15 nominations from MS organisations around the world. All of the nominees have achieved some extraordinary things. They are all MS heroes in their own way.