For the third year in a row I will be running the New York City Marathon with Team Tisch MS to raise awareness and funding for multiple sclerosis (MS) research. This cause continues to be incredibly important to me and for the future of MS. As many of you know, I am a nurse at the International Multiple Sclerosis Management Practice (IMSMP) and work in conjunction with the Tisch Multiple Sclerosis Research Center of New York (Tisch MSRCNY). Tisch MSRCNY is funded entirely by grants and private philanthropy.
MS is an autoimmune disease that targets the central nervous system. It has a typical onset at the prime of a person's life. It is a disease for which there is no known cause, prevention or cure.
I have seen firsthand how multiple sclerosis can affect the lives of our patients and their loved ones. I can't help but think of the many patients who have struggled for decades with this disease. People, who went from beginning their careers, and starting families, only to receive the diagnosis of MS and without good treatment options, had their whole life set off course. Today, there is more hope and more certainty than ever before, which is why the continued funding is more important now than ever.
Last year at this time we were excited to announce, after the success of Phase I of our FDA approved stem cell trial, we received approval to move into Phase II. Now, exactly one year later, with the generous support from donors like you, we are nearly finished with construction of our third floor build-out of the Regenerative Medicine Laboratory and the 50-patient, three year, double-blind placebo controlled trial will begin in the coming months.
It is an absolute privilege to run with Team Tisch MS to raise awareness and funding to ensure a more hopeful future. It is a privilege to come to work every day to bear witness to people struggling with this cruel disease. And it is a privilege to have friends and family like you who, by supporting me in running the NYC Marathon, are making such a meaningful difference in the lives of people with MS.