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September 24, 2018

Oswego Woman Honored for 18 Years of Activism Against MS


OSWEGO, NY – Brenda Irving of Oswego was recognized at the National MS Society Upstate New York Chapter’s annual meeting on October 17.

The event was held at the Crowne Plaza in Syracuse and highlighted several individuals who have worked towards creating a world free of multiple sclerosis.

 Nikki Bomasuto, campaign manager of the National MS Society Upstate New York Chapter, recognizes Brenda Irving for her dedicated volunteerism towards improving the lives of people with MS.

Nikki Bomasuto, campaign manager of the National MS Society Upstate New York Chapter, recognizes Brenda Irving for her dedicated volunteerism towards improving the lives of people with MS.

Irving was awarded with the Norman Cohn Hope Award emanating hope for the future through committed civic action.

This is the Society’s highest volunteer award and is named after Cohn who was active in the movement against multiple sclerosis for 33 years.

Irving was diagnosed with MS just six months after her wedding. With the tremendous support of her family, she has been able to actively take a role in the movement against MS.

Prior to moving to New York State, she was involved for 14 years in her area’s local chapter.

There, she had volunteered for many events and volunteered as an MS Advisory committee chair and a planning team member for a DIY Fundraising event called Crop for a Cause. She has helped out at various Walk MS and Bike MS events.

She has been involved with the Upstate New York Chapter for four years.

Irving remains humble and positive throughout the trials and tribulations that have come with her MS diagnosis.

“At times it’s been a journey, but everyone has their own journey ride to take. How we take it and what our support system is, I believe, can only make us stronger,” said Irving. “My faith is very important to me and I do see my MS diagnosis as a blessing in disguise. This disguise has a way of changing daily, but just the same, a blessing.”

Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system that is unpredictable and often disabling. Irving is one of more than 12,800 people affected by this disease in the territory covered by the National MS Society’s Upstate NY Chapter.

Currently, Irving is a self-help group leader in Oswego and Syracuse, an MS Ambassador, a Walk MS Task Force chairperson for Syracuse and she plans to expand her ideas to become a DIY Fundraising event planner.

Her activism is truly a sign of her hope for better things yet to come.

About multiple sclerosis and the National MS Society Upstate New York Chapter:

Multiple sclerosis, an 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 blindness and paralysis.

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.

The rate of diagnosis in Upstate New York is about double the national average.

MS affects more than 2.1 million people worldwide and more than 12,800 people in the 50-county region served by the Upstate New York Chapter.

For more information, visit MSupstateny.org

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