State Sen. Fred Madden picked up an accolade this week when the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society named him Legislator of the Year.
“This is truly an honor and I am grateful to the Delaware Valley Chapter for this recognition,” said Madden (D-Camden, Gloucester). “Most people have heard of multiple sclerosis, but few understand what it is or what we can do about it. We have been able to push through various cost free, common sense measures that can help shine a light on a disease that we still know too little about.
“But while I am happy with our progress, there is always more work to be done.”
Madden sponsored a joint Senate resolution to designate March as Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month. He also authored legislation to create the New Jersey Multiple Sclerosis Task Force. The task force, scheduled to start meeting this month, will develop strategies to identify and address the unmet needs of individuals with MS and help them access treatments and other therapeutic options.
MS is a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system. The body’s immune system attacks its own tissue, often leaving sufferers debilitated. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, an estimated 250,000 to 350,000 people nationwide have MS, with about 200 new cases diagnosed each week.
Founded in 1946, the National MS Society is the only volunteer-led health organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, alleviation and cure of multiple sclerosis. The Greater Delaware Valley Chapter was established in 1954 and is one of the largest of the society’s chapters.