National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Documentary of People Living with MS Culminates Its 10-week Cross Country Road Trip on World MS Day

Society’s We Keep Moving travel crew captures 10 compelling video stories of people across America living with MS but still moving forward with their lives

New York, NY, May 26, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — To mark World MS Day, today the National Multiple Sclerosis Society announced the culmination of the We Keep Moving journey, a 10-week reality road trip across America to chronicle the extraordinary lives of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) told by a documentary crew who have MS themselves. The Society initiated this campaign to capture unique personal stories of perseverance and triumph with the goal of uniting millions of people affected by MS and inspiring the general public with stories about people who might not ordinarily appear on their daily radar screens.

Every week, for 10 weeks, the We Keep Moving documentary crew chronicled a unique story about someone living with MS, each made different because MS symptoms can come and go without warning and range from numbness and tingling to loss of vision and paralysis. They then shared these stories online at www.wekeepmoving.org.

The We Keep Moving Web site and videos are supported in part by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Taking the public on a road trip across America

The We Keep Moving campaign started in February 2010 when the National MS Society invited people affected by MS to submit their stories for review. From over 800 stories submitted, 30 finalists were selected by a committee that included people living with MS. On March 9th during National MS Awareness Week, the National MS Society launched the We Keep Moving journey, introducing the documentary travel crew who would chronicle ten video stories selected by a weekly online public vote at the campaign’s Website, www.wekeepmoving.org. Each week for ten weeks, this public vote determined which story the campaign would highlight and where the road crew would travel on their ten-week cross-country journey.

The We Keep Moving documentary crew is made up of three creative professionals whose lives share a common bond: each is living with MS and knows from personal experience what it means to live with a disease whose hallmark is unpredictability. Throughout the journey, the host of the crew, Jason DaSilva, provided insights into their travels across the country through various social media outlets. Kate Milliken produced the video stories and Amelia Davis captured the individuals in photographs.

“MS is an unpredictable disease that affects every person differently, so it presents a special challenge to prepare for what life with MS might bring,” said Joyce Nelson, President & CEO of the National MS Society. “The stories captured on the We Keep Moving journey display the amazing spirit, determination and motivation of individuals with MS who refuse to let this chronic disease control them or stop them from moving forward with their lives. Their stories are a great inspiration to us all.”

We Keep Moving Continues

While the We Keep Moving ten-week journey concludes on World MS Day, the video stories will live on at www.wekeepmoving.org and may become the source for a future documentary on moving life forward when you are diagnosed with a chronic illness. For every story chronicled in the We Keep Moving journey, there are thousands more that could and should be told. On World MS Day, the National MS Society honors every individual living with MS, and encourages them to keep moving forward with their lives.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to loss of vision and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S. and over 2.1 million worldwide.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn’t. We help each person address the challenges of living with MS. In 2009 alone, through our national office and 50-state network of chapters, we devoted over $132 million to programs that enhanced more than one million lives. To move us closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested nearly $36 million to support 375 research projects around the world. We are people who want to do something about MS now. Join the movement at www.nationalMSsociety.org.

To learn more about MS and your options, talk to your health care professional and contact the National MS Society at www.nationalMSsociety.org or 1-800-FIGHT-MS (344-4867).

About Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation researches, develops, manufactures and markets leading innovative prescription drugs used to treat a number of diseases and conditions, including those in the cardiovascular, metabolic, cancer, organ transplantation, central nervous system, dermatological, GI and respiratory areas. The company's mission is to improve people's lives by pioneering novel healthcare solutions.

For decades, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and its affiliates have made significant advances in neuroscience, changing the way we treat disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). Novartis has pioneered early breakthrough treatments for many neurological and psychiatric conditions, some of which remain important treatments to this day. In the area of multiple sclerosis (MS), Novartis is committed to working with the community to provide advanced therapeutics and novel solutions to people living with the disease.

Located in East Hanover, New Jersey, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation is an affiliate of Novartis AG, which provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Focused solely on healthcare, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, preventive vaccines, diagnostic tools, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, and consumer health products. Novartis is the only company with leading positions in these areas. Novartis Group companies are headquartered in Basel, Switzerland. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.