My Invisible MS

World MS Day 2019 was fantastic. We put MS in the spotlight and spoke loud and clear about the unseen impact of MS around the world. You made international news, organised incredible events and got social media buzzing about #MyInvisibleMS. Together we showed the world how engaged, international, and creative the global MS community can be. Thank you for all of your incredible support!

This year, there were over 400 events in 79 countries – and we’re still counting! Read on to see highlights from World MS Day 2019. You can also see a collection of photos across the globe in the World MS Day Facebook Album.

Action for change

World MS Day provides huge momentum for MS organisations to achieve positive changes to policies, practices and attitudes towards people affected by MS.

Here are just a few examples of how MS organisations used this year’s campaign to achieve ambitious advocacy goals.

Chile World MS Day 2019

Film, performance and art

We loved seeing everyone get creative with this year’s campaign. Check out these powerful examples of film, performance and art for MS around the world.

  • Australia: MS Australia created a beautiful animation, depicting one woman’s experience of the invisible symptoms of MS with powerful imagery.
  • Austria: The MS Society in Vienna hosted an art exhibition and a screening of ‘Balancing Act’, a film looking at the impact of MS on one family.
  • Belgium: The national Belgian MS Society held an art auction and created a moving film on one student’s experience of living with MS.
  • Portugal: The Portuguese MS Society created a travelling exhibition featuring 12 of the most common invisible symptoms of MS. The exhibition will be hosted by 12 different districts across Portugal.
  • Brazil: In São Paulo, Brazil, The Brazillian MS Association launched the documentary, ‘A Diary of Lidwina’ by Brazilian filmmaker Leanardo Gamber. This wonderful documentary is made up of a series of conversations with people with MS, their loved ones and doctors.
  • Luxembourg: In Luxembourg, MS Society of Luxembourg had a screening of the film ‘Small Grey Clouds’. It’s a beautifully shot film directed by German director, Sabine Merina, who was diagnosed with MS in 2011.
  • Saudi Arabia: The Saed Charity Association supported MS patients held a painting exhibition to raise awareness about MS.
  • Poland: The Polish MS Society created a fantastic comic about the invisible symptoms of MS in the workplace.  The story helps tackle misconceptions by raising awareness of the unseen impact of MS. The comic shows that there are many ways for employers and colleagues to support people with MS in the workplace.
  • India: The MS Society of India organised ‘Seeing the Unseen’, a photography exhibition in Bengaluru depicting life with MS.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: MS Associations across Bosnia and Herzegovina came together to host World MS Day photography exhibitions across 4 cities. The aim of the exhibition was to highlight the personal impact of MS and to improve access to treatments.

Community celebrations

The global MS community celebrated World MS Day in solidarity. From sing-alongs in Peru and talks in Kenya, to conferences in China and meetings in Palestine: you gathered together to show your support. Thank you for coming together to mark the day!

MS Walk and Drive in Slovenia

Making headlines

This year World MS Day had fantastic coverage. Together, we have reached hundreds of thousands of people around the world!

  • Lebanon: ALSEP shone a spotlight on MS on national television with an interviewabout the #MyInvisibleMS campaign on MTV Lebanon.
  • UK: World MS Day made it onto the front page of the UK’s leading disability and lifestyle magazine, Enable. Enable shared the #MyInvisibleMS toolkit and asked their audience to share their invisible MS journey.
  • Bolivia: The President of the Bolivian MS Society went live on ‘Contacto Bolivia’ in a radio interview about MS.
  • Yemen: The MS Society of Yemen’s World MS Day event was covered on national radio and local papers like ‘News Yemen’
  • Namibia: MS Namibia got some excellent coverage for World MS Day, including an article about World MS Day into the Namibia Economist.
  • Kuwait: The MS Association in Kuwait’s event was highlighted on national televisionalongside an interview with the President of the Association about MS and the #MyInvisibleMS campaign.

Lighting up the world

Famous landmarks across the world were illuminated in true World MS Day style.

Kenya World MS Day

Push it to the limit

You crossed the finish line, walked the extra mile and embraced the great outdoors for MS. Here are some of the top World MS Day challenges this year.

  • Egypt: More than 300 people attended MS Care Egypt’s World MS Day bike ride. After the cycling, healthcare professionals gave a talk and 3 people living with MS shared their stories.
  • Italy: The Italian MS society created #FingerRun, a digital marathon to support scientific research on MS. The aim of the challenge is for players around the world to travel 42km in 12 hours by playing the game online. Players can participate in the race with hundreds of others whilst raising money for MS research.
  • Slovenia: The Ljubljana branch of the Slovenian MS Association organised an ‘MS Walk/Drive’. The Honorary patron of the event was President of the Republic. Participants and special guests were greeted by the President’s cabinet staff in front of the Presidential Palace and walked 1.6km to a Swiss cottage in the Ljubljana forest.
  • Macedonia: The Macedonian MS Association organised a ‘Run for MS’ event at the Skopje Marathon.
  • Croatia: MS Team Croatia organised an MS walk in Zagreb at Bundek lake. The event also included a talk, a Pilates session, and even a DJ set.

Research and education

Many of you used World MS Day 2019 to learn more about research and life with MS. Here are some memorable research and education highlights.

South Korea World MS Day

Famous shout-outs

American actress Selma Blair posted about World MS Day on Instagram. The Nobel Prize marked the day by posting about Physics Laureate, Michael Kosterlitz. Indian model and actor, Milind Soman shared a video message in support of World MS Day. Spanish singer song writer David Bisbal published an awareness raising message. Pakistani celebrity, Iman Aly, posted a selfie about her invisible MS symptoms and French actress Virginie Desarnauts (ARSEP Foundation ambassador) sent a video in support of #MyInvisibleMS. A big thank you to our famous friends who helped spread the message!

Thank you!

This year’s World MS Day has given us so much to be proud of. Your diverse approach to this year’s theme helped to make the campaign so vibrant and compelling. From research seminars and meetings with decision makers to fun get-togethers among communities of people affected by MS. As for online activities, it’s been fantastic to see so many people engaging with the #MyInvisibleMS toolkit. Thousands of you created your own poster with the new World MS Day poster maker tool. The My Invisible MS message has reached people affected by MS all over the world.

Thank you and congratulations everyone on a fantastic World MS Day 2019!