Our guest speaker is Martin Taurins, Chair of the Rotarian Action Group of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness and member Rotary Club of Gisborne, Victoria, Australia.
When Martin's son Jacob, a budding musician, was diagnosed at age 20 with multiple sclerosis (MS), he didn't know anything about the disease. Jacob held college degrees in arts, business and music.
All that changed when he became one of 2.5 million people worldwide diagnosed with this neurological condition in which the body's immune system inexplicably turns on itself, attacking the protective sheaths that surround nerve fibers. Depending on type of MS, symptoms range from tingling or numbness, visual impairment, mobility restrictions, loss of coordination, independence and eventually paralysis can set in becoming wheelchair bound..
Common in adults age 20-40, seen more among women than men 3 to 1 ratio. MS as yet has no cure, but Martin and family wanted to take action. They felt frustrated that no one could tell them what caused MS and what plans there were to find a cure. They now realise how complex the disease is.
Diana and Martin joined Rotary Club of Gisborne before Jacob was diagnosed to give back after their daughter went to Sweden with Rotary Youth Exchange (Since then they have home hosted ten exchange students). Rotary Club of Gisborne members had empathy for Jacob's condition and started a Club project, which later became a district endorsed program. This encouraged Diana and Martin to gather together Rotarians Internationally with an interest in finding a cure for the disease and form the Rotarian Action Group of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness (RAGMSA) with a mission of promoting MS awareness and urging Rotarians to work with their local MS societies to spread awareness, raise funds and assist people with MS and families.
In the early days Jacob played the piano and performed at Rotary Club MS fundraisers in D9800. Being involved in these events encouraged him to join Rotary and has served as club president of the Rotary Club of Essendon North. With the support of a public disability grant and his club, he was able to get a new wheelchair that allows him to be more independent. With the help of his carer he uses a specially-equipped computer to realise his dream of gaining a Masters degree in music composition and of writing music. Before being diagnosed with MS, Jacob could sing and play many instruments and wanted to be a Music Composer.
Martin urges Rotarians to become involved with their local MS societies and hold events to spread awareness of the disease and support efforts to find a cure. Put it in club plans and objectives, so it becomes public. Let clubs know MS is a major health problem, especially with young people.
Via the website, facebook and twitter, individuals can join the group.
Martin can provide contacts for at MS Societies
Rotary Clubs to partner the group
How to start a project and provide ideas about fund raising events and grants.
Almost daily, information re latest MS Research and symptoms management is posted on yahoo email group, facebook and Twitter.
The Rotarian Action Group of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness require existing members, and welcomes new members, willing to take on a management role with RAGMSA.
||Belgian Beer Cafe
||Tuesday 4th December 2018