By: Sarah R. LaRocca, National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter Intern
GREENWICH, CT. – Just as with any cause worth fighting for, the best time to join the movement against multiple sclerosis is today.
Meredith Vieira, former NBC-TV “Today” show host, and her husband, renowned author and journalist Richard Cohen, understand this sentiment all too well. On Monday, May 21, they will attend the annual Women Against MS (WAMS) event, serving as keynote speakers and honorees for their work in raising awareness in the fight against MS.
Cohen, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1973 when he was 25, has long been an advocate for multiple sclerosis, even penning the novel, “Blindsided”, a story about his struggles.
Vieira and Cohen have been activists and supporters of the National MS Society for years, and next month they will join the hundreds of women – and men – at the WAMS Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency in Old Greenwich.
A VIP meet-and-greet with Vieira and Cohen will be available starting at 11 a.m. and a lunch and program session will be held shortly after from noon to 1:30 p.m.
During the luncheon, Vieira with be awarded the Georgina B. Davids award, an award presented annually to someone living with MS or to someone who has truly made a difference in the lives of others living with the disease, and Cohen will speak about his battle with MS.
The event will include boutique shopping from 10 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 3 p.m., providing guests with an opportunity to shop among local merchants who will be displaying clothing, jewelry and much more.
“This event has always been such a powerful tool to raise awareness for MS in the media,” says Karen E. Butler, Vice President of Communications for the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter. “We expect that this year will be our most successful luncheon yet.”
According to statistics, three times as many women are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as are men. As a result, women now come together annually throughout the state of Connecticut to learn, through inspirational personal accounts, about the effects of this potentially debilitating disease and the latest advances in treatment and care. These same women join together to raise critically needed funds to move scientific research forward to find a cure. These funds also provide for the continuation of vital programs and services offered by the chapter to the more than 6,000 state residents battling the baffling and oftentimes debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis. Since 2001 these dynamic groups have been known as Women Against MS, or WAMS.
WAMS luncheons take place in Hartford and Fairfield County. More than 1,000 women – and men – dedicated to creating a world free from MS attend each year. Past keynote speakers include actress and activist Teri Garr; actress, singer and producer Rain Pryor; best-selling author Jacquelyn Mitchard, and more.
Meredith Vieira is a journalist and TV personality who is best known for her hosting roles on ABC’s talk show, The View, and NBC’s “Today” as well as her latest job is host of the popular game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. She currently lives in New York with her husband, Richard Cohen, and their three children.
Like his wife, Richard Cohen is a journalist and television producer, a former senior producer for CBS news and CNN. He is a three-time Emmy award winning CBS News journalist and published the memoir “Blindsided: Lifting a Life Above Illness” in 2004 about his ongoing struggle living with MS.
The Fairfield County WAMS Luncheon will be held on Monday, May 21, at The Hyatt Regency in Old Greenwich. Funds raised through Connecticut Chapter events, such as WAMS Luncheons, ensure ongoing scientific research to find better treatments and a cure.
To register to be a part of WAMS or to learn more about the fight against MS, visit www.ctfightsms.org.