What's Raised Here, Stays Here!
MSQLP's e-newsletter: August 2014 edition
Letter from the Board
By Tammy Jennings
Vice President


Walk 'n Roll is almost here! The fundraiser will be held on Saturday, August 23rd at El Estero Park in Monterey (the same place as the last 7 Walk-n-Roll events). Registration will begin at 10:30 am; the walk will begin promptly at noon. Come early to view the abundance of raffle and silent auction items we have collected from corporate and local businesses. We have some fantastic things this year. I am so excited!


We have upgraded our lunch menu this year to include hamburgers & vege-burgers with all the fixings as well as some wonderful side dishes and dessert. Yummy!


Volunteers are still needed and welcome. We will have Fundraiser Committee meetings on August 6, 13, and 20 at 1:30 pm following the MSQLP water aerobics program at the Monterey Sports Center.  We will especially need volunteers on the day of the event to help with parking, set-up, take-down, clean-up, BBQing, and food service.


This year, MSQLP has been sending e-mails about Walk 'n Roll so that you can forward to family and friends if you are interested in helping collect donations in your name. It is easy to do and as an incentive this year, for every $100 raised in your name, you will receive one raffle ticket.  (If you need the donation e-mail sent to you again, please contact the MSQLP office at 831-333-9091.)


Walk-n-Roll is being held to celebrate YOU: our multiple sclerosis & Parkinson's clients, caregivers, family, friends, and neighbors. This event is thrown each year to welcome more comraderie within our local MS/PD community and of course raise money to fund and expand our various free programs and services. Come on out and help support MSQLP raise awareness of local programs and services offered to individuals and families living with MS and Parkinson's.

I'll see you there!


Tammy Jennings
Upcoming Events 
(click orange text for flyer) 

Saturday, August 23rd


Registration opens: 10:30AM

El Estero Park, Monterey


Want to help us with this fundraiser? Contact MSQLP at 831-333-9091 to learn more! 


Support Groups
MSQLP's Salinas MS Support Group
Friday, August 15th
Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital- Cislini Conference Room #1

MSQLP's Monterey MS Support Group
Saturday, August 16th
MSQLP Office
519B Hartnell Street

Both support groups offered to individuals living with MS will feature the award winning documentary "When I Walk". Please be aware that this documentary is both inspirational and emotional. If you are concerned about the content of this film please preview the trailer here: 
WHEN I WALK (Official Trailer)
WHEN I WALK (Official Trailer)

Family Caregiver Support Group
Wednesday, August 13th
Meeting during MSQLP's Water Aerobics program at Monterey Sports Center

Water Aerobics
Mondays & Wednesdays 
12-1pm @ Monterey Sports Center
Spotlight on Wellness and Rehabilitation
By Grant Helm - Executive Director

As I had mentioned in one of the recent articles included in MSQLP's e-newsletter for June (archived here), I had the opportunity to represent MSQLP at the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) that was held May 28 to May 31 in Dallas, Texas. The meeting focused on providing healthcare and mental health professionals with the most up-to-date information impacting the care of people with MS. The event featured a variety of presentations on research aimed at stopping the effects of MS and MS progression.  

Some of the most compelling studies, to me, were the studies that focused on restoring function to people with MS using various wellness and rehabilitation methods. Most of the studies involving this topic are considered preliminary research. And confidence in a study's findings grows when it is repeated by others, with similar results. Therefore, the "new ground" that is MS wellness and rehabilitation motivated MSQLP to organize an educational and hands-on wellness workshop of our own.

In that regard, starting on in September, MSQLP will be hosting our 2nd annual Never Stop Moving Wellness Workshop. This year, the workshop will include a series of topics presented throughout the month of September and into October. Topics for the Never Stop Moving Wellness Series will include: postural rehabilitation, adaptive pilates, adaptive yoga, and finally meditation. 

This program will be absolutely free to all of our clientele (Parkinson's or MS). The mission of this wellness workshop is to inform and encourage healthy and accessible programs to our clientele based on a variety of wellness and rehabilitative methods that can be practiced at home. 

More information about this wellness series will be released throughout August as we begin to hammer out the details.
Did you Know?
Clinical trials involving Stem Cells
By Rachel Bedford- MSQLP Office Assistant

Stem cells seem to be the first possible step in order to formulate a revolutionary treatment for MS. So, why has it taken so long to become approved by the FDA? It may be due to many issues, but the ethical controversy surrounding the idea of using stem cells is one of the most common factors for the delay. The identification of stem cells happened more than 85 years ago; however, the idea of using stem cells as a therapy has only been explored more thoroughly in the past few decades (Chagastelles & Nardi, 2011).

According to the International Society of Nephrology (2011), stem cells are the beginning stages of an "unspecialized" cell that have the ability to self-renew and develop into different "specialized cells" throughout the body. In addition, Stem cells have the potential for unlimited or prolonged periods of self-renewal (Chagastelles & Nardi, 2011). The two different types of stem cells, Embryonic Stem Cells and Adult Stem Cells, share the same property of self-renewal; however, the properties of Adult Stem Cells are much more limited than those of Embryonic Stem Cells.

Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs) are the reason why stem cell therapy is a hot topic in today's society. In order to cultivate ESCs, a zygote (a cell resulting from the fertilization of an egg and a sperm) must undergo "...successive mitotic divisions until, a sphere of cells, the blastocyst is formed" (Chagastelles & Nardi, 2011). This type of stem cell has the potential to differentiate into any type of mature cell that is in the adult body. The possibilities with ESCs are boundless; but on the other hand, the cultivation of this type of stem cell raises ethical issues because the process used in obtaining it requires the destruction of the blastocyst and therefore a human embryo (Chagastelles & Nardi, 2011).

The recent stem cell trial the FDA approved incorporates Adult Stem Cells (ASCs). ASCs replenish the cells that die within a given organ, which limits them to only maturing into cells from the region of the body from which they were obtained (Chagastelles & Nardi, 2011). The Tisch MS Research Center in New York acquired the approval of the FDA to commence phase one of Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cells trials (Harris, Faroqui, Cyshkina, & Sadiq, 2012).  This means that the stem cells will be cultivated from the bone marrow of each individual involved in the study (Tisch MS Research Center, 2013). As previously mentioned, ASCs can only mature into specialized cells that come from the same region. As such, it is difficult to understand why the Tisch MS Research Center would use bone marrow stem cells in order to regenerate the central nervous system's specialized cells. Well, the Mesenchymal stem cell (stem cell originated from bone marrow) is shown to promote oligodendroglial differentiation, and the neuroglia responsible for forming the Myelin Sheaths (Harris, Faroqui, Cyshkina, & Sadiq, 2012). In order to mature an ASC into a different specialized cell, they will need to revert it back to its initial stage in vitro and mature it into the oligodendroglial type of cell (Chagastelles & Nardi, 2011).

According to the Tisch MS Research Center, the regenerative strategy using the Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cells (stem cells from bone marrow) will be injected into the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the spinal cord (2013). The Tisch MS Research Center is hoping that the Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cells can slow, stop, or reverse brain and spinal cord damage caused by MS, through the regeneration of the myelin sheaths (2013). The outcome looks positive because during preclinical testing, the treatment demonstrated that brain inflammation was reduced in seven MS patients, myelin was repaired, and brain function was improved (Tisch MS Research Center, 2013).

Furthermore, great progress is being made for the population with Parkinson's disease (PD).  According to the Kyoto University of Japan, they were able to extract stem cells from a species of monkey in order to turn the stem cells into specialized nerve cells (2013). Kyoto University scientists were able to inject the stem cells successfully without the monkey's immune system attacking because they shared the same DNA as us (Health Line News, 2013).

In the end, it is great to see that new clinical trials involving stem cells are entering the realms of MS and PD. It is exciting to think that someday stem cells might used a therapy for MS or PD; but for now, we are happy to see the start of something progressive in both communities.

Click to view references:

MSQLP Website

Our Mission:     

The Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Project (MSQLP) recognizes that people living with chronic illness have unmet needs. MSQLP is committed to filling these gaps by improving the quality of life of persons with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in the tri-county area of Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito. Our programs serve families living with Parkinson's disease (PD) in Monterey County. We work with clients and their families to create comprehensive individual plans and programs that support client independence. 

All of our services are free.

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Farewell from Angie- MSQLP Social Worker
"Goodbye, farewell, alvitazen"
By Angie Garayalde, MSW

This may come as a surprise to many but, July was my last month with MSQLP. I have accepted a full-time position as a psychiatric social worker at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula that will begin in August. Though working in a hospital setting has been one of my goals since my efforts to become a social worker, saying goodbye to MSQLP is bittersweet.

I was very, very fortunate to intern under the guidance of our Program Supervisor, Andrea Dowdall. Andrea gave me a wonderful picture of what a savvy, well-rounded, and passionate social worker should look like. Getting hired as a case manager after my internship ended was a blessing.  It has been a pleasure to work with Grant, who is a fantastic director and all-around great coworker and person. MSQLP has given me the foundation necessary to move forward in my professional endeavors, and I cannot thank Grant, Andrea, the board of directors, and clients enough. 

Working for an organization that has so much heart has been a rare and special opportunity, and I hope to see you all around soon.
Amy's Corner
Apologize for having MS? 
By Amy Lamb Heckel RDH  

At first glance it seems ridiculous, yet I find myself doing it ALL the time.  Not so much apologizing for having MS as a whole, but for whatever the inconvenient symptom is that is complicating life at that moment. I can't walk fast enough to keep up with you. Sorry. Sorry you had to wait. I can't be in the direct sun any longer. Sorry. Sorry, I have to stop and find a bathroom. Sorry, sorry, sorry...

My husband once asked me if I would be so apologetic if I had been hit by a bus. His point was that if I had been hit by a bus through no fault of my own, it mirrored MS since MS hit me through no fault of my own.  I found my answer to his question to be "No." Upon reflection I realized I could not articulate a logical reason as to why I felt that way. All I knew was that every time someone recognized that my disease was progressing, I felt as though I had let them down and I somehow felt responsible for their disappointment. Absurd? Yes. Illogical? Yes. Selling those people short? Very probably. A preposterous situation? Yes.

Yet I have discovered I am not the only one. Nicole Lemelle has written an article titled, "Never Apologize" in which she shares a very personal and moving story about apologizing for having MS. Ms. Lemelle has graciously allowed me to provide the link to her article and I encourage you to read it.

You can access the article by clicking here.
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Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Project
519B Hartnell Street
Monterey, California 93940