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Fighting the good fight

Brian Hutchinson

Did you know that one in 62,550 Coloradans has multiple sclerosis and that it is one of the leading neurological diseases among young adults? Did you know that there is no known cause or cure for MS? Did you know that it strikes two to three times as many women as men and can cause blindness, imbalance, loss of mobility, pain and cognitive disability? Did you know that March 13-17 is national MS Awareness Week?.MS is an insidious, unpredictable disease that usually strikes people in the prime of their life. Over the past 15 years, there have been tremendous advances in the treatment of MS, but as of yet there is no known cause or cure. Approximately 200 people are diagnosed with MS every week in the United States, disrupting or halting careers and tearing at the fabric of a family. Did you know that one of the world’s leading resources for people with MS is located here in Edwards? The Heuga Center, a non-profit founded in 1984, is recognized worldwide as a leader in the field of multiple sclerosis. Its programs teach families living with this chronic, incurable disease to maintain their hope by focusing on what they can do to sustain their overall health and well-being. The center takes its one-, three- and five-day programs throughout North America, providing education to people and families living with MS, as well as to professionals in the health care industry. Our wellness model has gained recognition and respect from all sectors of the MS world. This is because our programs offer interactive, interdisciplinary and individualized attention like none other. We are proud that we are known as a valuable complement to traditional medical treatment and we strive to stay on the leading edge of teaching people how to live well with MS. Although we are an international organization, we are proud to call the Vail Valley home and provide our unique services in our Edwards office.Though The Heuga Center is not involved in researching a cure for MS, we recognize the absolute need for continued medical research in this area. Please note that in the 2007 budget now before Congress there is an amendment that is necessary to ensure that the National Institute of Health maintains its funding for research into the cause of and cure for MS and other diseases. If you are interested in contacting Congress about retaining money in the proposed budget for the NIH’s research, please contact us for more information.This year The Heuga Center will touch 7,000 people through 60 programs and dozens of special events. Our next local event takes place here in the valley Tuesday, March 21, at the Vilar Center. Please join Heuga Center board member Mike Marolt, the first man to climb up and ski down Mt. Everest, in his movie presentation about this epic adventure. Mike and his team display the “Can Do” spirit that is the heart of the Heuga Center’s philosophy. This program will support our next CAN DO program at the Lodge at Vail May 17-21. I sincerely hope that multiple sclerosis does not touches you or someone you know. But if it does,, please let them know that The Heuga Center is a source of health and hope. For more information, visit http://www.heuga.org, or call us at 926-1290. In recognition of MS Awareness Week, The Heuga Center would like to thank the many supporters in Eagle County for their support of people living with MS.Brian Hutchinson is the president of The Heuga Center.


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