Grant increases free services for people living with Multiple Sclerosis

A $25,000 Coachella Valley Spotlight grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation will allow ACT for MS to offer more free classes to enrich the health and quality of life for individuals living with multiple sclerosis. Founded in 1999, ACT for MS is the valley’s premier resource for people living with MS.

“These funds are so important to our organization,” said Linda Williamson, ACT for MS Board Co-President. “The services we provide for MS clients are non-medical, which are typically not covered by insurance, but they are essential for disabled adults living with MS to fulfill their human potential. Offering these services for free allows clients to participate without using their, often limited, resources that are needed for basic living including housing, food and utilities.”

MS is a chronic, disabling, unpredictable neurological disease that affects the central nervous system. There is no cure for MS, but research indicates that many wellness strategies help manage the disease, slow the progression and in some cases initiate remission. The backbone of ACT for MS is its Enhanced Strength Training, Flexibility and Circulation Improvement (STFM) program, which is currently conducting 4,300 strength training sessions, 52 group aquatic therapy sessions, eight group adaptive yoga sessions and 744 circulation therapy sessions – all at no charge. The nonprofit currently serves about 110 clients, but a recent study indicates that more than 1,000 people may be living with MS in the desert.

“This grant will help ACT for MS reach out to more people in the desert who need these services to improve their quality of life,” said Christopher McGuire, Vice President of Programs for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.

“ACT for MS has a proven 20-year track record for helping people in the Coachella Valley, and we are happy to highlight that success and see what more the organization can do with a Coachella Valley Spotlight grant,” said Jerry Upham, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates KESQ News Channel 3 and KPSP CBS Local 2.

Through the Coachella Valley Spotlight partnership with the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and News Channel 3, ACT for MS was featured on News Channel 3 programming including “Eye on the Desert” (which airs on CBS Local 2 weeknights at 6:30 p.m.), in public service announcements and on kesq.com throughout the month of June.

For more information visit www.actforms.org or call 760-773-9806.