SOURCE: Fly For MS
Fly for MS Is the Largest Scale MS Event Ever Organized and the Longest Humanitarian Flight Ever Undertaken
NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – August 31, 2010) – On August 31st Fly for MS takes off from New York on a thrilling humanitarian mission to 30 countries in North America, Europe and Asia where the team will fly MS patients for treatment, and share the joy of flying with more than 100 people with MS to raise awareness for the challenges faced by over 2.1 million fighting this debilitating disease.
Fewer than 300 have flown a small plane for such a distance, and none for a humanitarian mission, compared to over 4,000 people who successfully climbed Mount Everest.
The mission will debut with a flight above Manhattan with Tom Clyne of New York, a representative from the U.S. National MS Society suffering from MS.
“Using my cane, I’m reminded of my MS with every step I take. Being up in the air with Andrei and the Fly for MS team, I can be free, even for a few moments. It’s a wonderful and exciting project he’s undertaking to bring awareness to the challenges people with MS experience every day of their lives,” says Tom.
Fly for MS is the brainchild of pilot Andrei Floroiu, a former Wall Street investor focused on biotechnology companies. In his profession he realized from interviews with over 600 MS patients and doctors how little the public knows about MS and recognized the need for a unique event to inspire compassion and action.
MS patients face harsh realities including lack of services due to budget cuts and limited availability of proper treatment. Ignorance of MS often forces people with MS to withdraw from society, hiding an illness poorly understood.
MS is a debilitating disease that affects 1.5 million people in North America and Europe alone. The symptoms of MS are cruel and include paralysis, speech impairment, and blindness. MS typically strikes people between the ages of 20 – 50 and renders 60% of those touched disabled over time. MS also affects an estimated 50,000 children globally.
With no known cause or cure in sight, awareness will move MS higher on government agendas, change employers’ attitudes and educate the world how to help. Awareness has a multiplier effect on future research funding.
“Through this unprecedented journey we aim to expose the contrast between the ultimate freedom of flying and the limitations of those living with MS, and reach new, broader audiences that other efforts have not been able to in the past,” says Floroiu.
“As a volunteer driven organization, it is bold, imaginative and independent projects such as Fly for MS that raise awareness for the challenges of living with MS and the funds needed to move us closer to a world free of the disease. The Society certainly encourages this heart-felt endeavor,” says Joyce Nelson, President and CEO of the U.S. National MS Society.
On certain legs of the tour, MS specialists, advocates, public figures and journalists will fly along.
Competitions are organized in certain countries for those that want a flight in the Fly for MS plane and the team will join fundraisers and awareness events across Europe.
Updates and photographs from the mission will be posted daily at www.flyms.org, Twitter, and Facebook. For more information visit: http://www.flyms.org/fly-for-multiple-sclerosis-schedule.html