Resource: National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Momentum Magazine – 2015

You might call it “the three F’s”: food, friends and family. When that triad comes together, whether for a daily meal or a special occasion, it helps strengthen the support networks that sustain many people living with multiple sclerosis and contributes to a good, or even great, quality of life.

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At a National MS Society event held in April to raise awareness and support for people living with MS, internationally celebrated chef Mario Batali spoke about the magic that can happen when the three F’s are thoughtfully brought together. “When you cook at home, you are creating something that is magical and delightful for everyone around you. It may not heal them, but it will put them in a better state of mind to deal with whatever situation [they are facing],” Batali said during the event for Golden Circle members (those who donate at least $1,000 annually to the Society), titled “Food. Wellness. MS.”  Batali believes this is especially true for the children his Mario Batali Foundation is dedicated to protecting and empowering. This year, the foundation will donate close to $40,000 to Society-sponsored pediatric MS research. “My goal is to help children live the best life they can,” Batali said. “By identifying some of the key causes and related issues, we can better understand the disease and hopefully slow it down. …

The Mario Batali Foundation’s first grant to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society will help fund Dr. E. Ann Yeh in her research of pediatric MS, a disease that affects an estimated 10,000 children in the United States alone.


  • Pilot Research Grant:
    “Physical Activity in Pediatric MS: Barriers and Facilitators”
    Determining levels of physical activity in kids with MS, and what barriers exist to increasing activity in this population.
  • Project Leader:  E. Ann Yeh, MD
    The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Project Overview:
    Adults who have MS may experience relief from some symptoms, such as depression, fatigue, and cognitive problems, by increasing their levels of physical activity and exercise. Little is known about physical activity in children with MS, in terms of how much they engage in and what might be the impact on their disease. This team is obtaining objective information on levels of physical activity in children with MS by using accelerometers, and then comparing this information with data gathered from questionnaires.  They also are investigating barriers and facilitators to participation in physical activity in children.  This project can help to develop an inexpensive and non-pharmacological intervention that may have significant effects on symptoms experienced by kids with MS.
  • About the investigator:
    Eluen Ann Yeh, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Neurology) at the University of Toronto, and also Director of the Pediatric Demyelinating Disorders Program and Education and Residency Program Director in Neurology at the Hospital for Sick Children. She received her MD from McMaster University, completed her pediatric residency at McMaster University and child neurology fellowship at SUNY at Buffalo. She has received several teaching awards, scholarships, and fellowships.

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