Rimbey is one of two communities in central Alberta that has declared May to be Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month.
Terri Blanchard, client services coordinator for the MS Society of Canada-Central Alberta Chapter, said Rimbey and Red Deer are the only two communities in central Alberta that have made the declaration.
While Blanchard didn’t know how many people affected with MS are living in the Rimbey area, she said one in 300 Albertans have the disease.
“We want to get the word out how MS affects people,” she said. “We want to provide information and help raise awareness.”
On April 29 at 6:30 p.m. Mayor Sheldon Ibbotson will proclaim May to be MS Awareness Month in Rimbey.
On May 2 volunteers will be busy posting signs throughout the community stating: “We Will End MS.” Businesses will be asked to post signs in their storefronts and carry cash donation boxes throughout May.
The public will be invited to attend a coffee group meeting at l p.m. at the Rimbey hospital. The group meets regularly and would be happy to provide information about MS to interested people.
The Rimbey Co-op will do its part to become involved in May 10 and 11 by taking part in the carnation campaign. Carnations will be available for sale on May 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on May 11 from 2 to 6 p.m.
On May 18 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. an MS information booth will be set up at the Rimbey Farmer’s Market.
Blanchard said people living with MS may experience symptoms of numbness, problems with balance and blurry vision. To simulate some of these symptoms, a wheelchair may be available at the booth so people can see what it’s like to rely on a chair to get around in. Oven mitts people would be invited to wear while trying to write their name may also be an option so as to increase understanding about what it’s like to write or function if numbness is a problem. Putting on glasses smeared with Vaseline would give a person some idea of what it is like to try and make things out when suffering from blurred vision.
On May 26, the public is invited to participate in the Enerflex MX Walk in Red Deer.
Events for the MS Awareness Month in Rimbey will wrap up on May 30 with cake and coffee at the Rimbey Municipal Library from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Volunteers who wish to participate in any of the events may contact Terri Blanchard at 403-346-0290 or Terri.Blanchard@mssociety.ca