NBC 30 Women Against MS Luncheon Raises More Than $90,000

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter hosted the 7th annual NBC 30 Women Against MS (WAMS) Luncheon at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, Conn., on Friday, Nov. 16, and raised more than $90,000 to assist those in Connecticut battling the baffling and oftentimes debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Maureen JessenLauren Petty, anchor and reporter with NBC 30, served as the event’s mistress of ceremonies. National bestselling novelist and WAMS keynote speaker Jacquelyn Mitchard spoke to more than 500 guests. Mitchard authored the critically-acclaimed The Breakdown Lane, a novel about living with the sudden onset of a chronic illness. Mitchard’s own lifelong friend, Jeanine, was diagnosed several years ago with multiple sclerosis.

Mitchard’s first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was named by USA Today as one of the ten most influential books released over the past 25 years. The same book was recognized by the Oprah Winfrey Book Club. The Deep End of the Ocean was later made into a feature film starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Mitchard recently joined forces with the National MS Society to help raise awareness in support of her lifelong friend’s battle against the disease. She is scheduled to speak at the 2008 WAMS Luncheon to be held in New Haven on June 13.

According to statistics, three times as many women are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as are men. As a result, women across the nation now come together annually, state by state and chapter by chapter, to learn, through inspirational personal accounts, about the effects of this potentially debilitating disease and the latest advances in treatment and care. These same women join together to raise critically-needed funds to facilitate scientific research to find a cure. The money raised also provides for vital programs and services offered by local chapters. Since 2001, these dynamic groups have been known as Women Against MS or WAMS.

The NBC 30 WAMS Luncheon was chaired by Simsbury resident Maureen Jessen, 45, who was diagnosed with primary progressive MS in 2001. Over the past four years, the Connecticut Chapter WAMS luncheons have raised more than $556,000. For more information on attending the 2008 WAMS luncheon, please contact Kristen Mauro, development specialist, at (860) 714-2300, ext. 224.



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