TRENTON – Senator Fred Madden (G-Gloucester, Camden) has been named Legislator of the Year by the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Madden was presented the award last night at the group’s annual meeting in Cherry Hill.
“This is truly an honor and I am grateful to the Delaware Valley Chapter for this recognition,” said Madden. “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.”
Senator Madden has been a leading advocate in the Legislature for raising awareness of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). He is the sponsor of a joint Senate resolution that would designate March of each year as Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month. Additionally, Senator Madden was the author of legislation that created the New Jersey Multiple Sclerosis Task Force in the Department of Health and Senior Services. The task force, scheduled to start meeting this month, will develop strategies to identify and address the unmet needs of individuals with MS in order to provide them with greater access to various treatments and other therapeutic options.
MS is a chronic, often disabling, disease that attacks the central nervous system. The body, through its immune system, launches a defensive and damaging attack against its own tissues. The cause of MS remains unknown; however, having a first-degree relative, such as a parent or sibling, with MS significantly increases a person’s risk of developing the disease. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, it is estimated that there are approximately 250,000 to 350,000 persons in the United States who are diagnosed with MS. This estimate suggests that approximately 200 new cases are 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 and the only volunteer-led MS organization that meets the standards of all major agencies that rate nonprofit groups. The Greater Delaware Valley Chapter was established in 1954 by noted Philadelphian Thacher Longstreth and is one of the largest of the Society’s chapters.