Imagine having no control over your muscles. Imagine your hands and feet feeling as if they are on fire all the time. These are just a couple of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, a neurological autoimmune disease, for which there is no cure. Doctors know what factors contribute to symptoms, but no one really knows what causes it. Why does one twin get the disease, but not the other one? While other organizations work toward finding a cure, Palm Desert based ACT for Multiple Sclerosis (ACT for MS) provides a variety of free programs and services to improve the quality of life now for Coachella Valley residents living with MS. These programs include strength training and massage, adaptive yoga, emotional fitness, aquatic therapy, wellness education, peer support activities, and mobility aids such as wheelchairs, motorized scooters, canes and walkers. ACT for MS also helps pay part of low income clients’ summer electric bills. Heat is very bad for multiple sclerosis clients. Quarterly luncheons and a client resource center round out the free programs.
The late journalist Gloria Greer founded ACT for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1998 after her daughter Norma was diagnosed with the incurable disease. Original founders were Peggy Cravens, the late Jackie Lee Houston, Lori Sarner and Diane Marlin Dirkx. After holding a conference on the importance of exercise in delaying the progression of MS, the board decided to make strength training the cornerstone of the charity’s free programs. One client was told by his doctor to settle for being a “couch potato.” He then saw a news story on ACT for MS and its strength training program. This client came to ACT for MS, enrolled in the strength training program and is still working and exercising. The mission is to provide assistance for clients living with MS in the Coachella Valley. Our vision is Helping Clients Live Stronger Longer!