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    We support Can Do MS because they help people every day. Research for a cure is great, but we also feel it is important to help people living with multiple sclerosis live a full life. We are big proponents and supporters of lifestyle programs and are pleased to help Can Do MS support scholarships for people to attend programs.

    Andrew K., The Laurence Polatsch Memorial Fund
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    Doug Franklin’s Introduction of Joyce Nelson, President and CEO Emeritus of the National MS Society, as the 2011 Can Do Awardee

    Posted Thursday, November 3, 2011

    News from the MS Coalition
    By Doug Franklin, President of the MS Coalition

    It is an honor and a privilege for me to introduce this years’ Can Do Award recipient who has been a colleague and friend of mine for more than a decade.

    A native of Chicago, Joyce has spent the better part of her career constantly travelling across the country while based in Denver, Colorado. She has just retired from the staffing ranks of the National MS Society after 27 years of dedicated employment-the last 6 as their President and Chief Executive Officer.

     Joyce started out as a Development Manager in northern California and worked her way up to Vice President of Field Operations before becoming CEO.  She worked tirelessly to improve chapter relations throughout the society. She worked hard for the Research Challenge of Champions, the Corporate Star program and the Promise 2010 Research Campaign.

    She strengthened the Society’s ties with corporate leaders, enhanced chapter growth and realignment and was a tireless champion of the Society’s mission to end the devastating effects of MS.

    In 2005, Joyce led the NMSS into the MS Coalition and opened up the channels of collaboration between the NMSS and all the other patient service organizations working in the MS field. She was instrumental in coordinating advocacy efforts from all of us to help affect positive public policy for all of the people with MS that we collectively serve.

    Her staff will tell you she is a tireless organizer and a profound practitioner of the management dictum that states: “Proper prior planning prevents poor performance”!  Joyce has always led by example. She has always added value and promoted excellence in everything she does. She extended her privilege of serving the National MS Society with everyone she came into contact with. She made sure she was a river and not a reservoir when it came to sharing her knowledge and her experience. As a person and as a leader, she was a pioneer for women, volunteerism and opening up opportunities and she is a shining example of what hard work and always living your values can produce.

    She is a most worthy recipient of tonight’s special award. Ladies and gentlemen please join me in congratulating this year’s recipient of the Can Do Award:  our esteemed colleague and our very special friend: Joyce Nelson. 

    Can Do MS honored Joyce Nelson, President and CEO Emeritus of the National MS Society, with a Can Do Award at the 26th Annual Autumn Benefit for demonstrating the can do spirit and making significant contribution to improving the lives of others with MS. By focusing on what she and the National MS Society can do, Joyce and the Society have become a driving force of MS research, relentlessly pursuing prevention, treatment and a cure for the disease while addressing the challenges of each person whose life is affected by MS. 

    Annual Autumn Benefit Info
    MS Coalition Info


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    Can Do Multiple Sclerosis™ is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.
    Charitable Organization Number: 74-2337853

    Formerly The Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis | Founded by Jimmie Heuga

    A national nonprofit organization, Can Do MS is a leading provider of innovative lifestyle empowerment programs
    that empower people with MS and their support partners to transform and improve their quality of life.