Dec. 7, 2015 - MS Investment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Margot Spafford announces a transformational investment to support Multiple Sclerosis research and care in the Maritimes.

(HALIFAX, NS) – December 7, 2015 – Margot Spafford has been instrumental in the creation of a transformational endowed fund at Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation that will support Multiple Sclerosis research and care in the Maritimes. Inspired by her long-time friend Gillian Morrow’s 22-year battle with the disease, more than $1 million has been raised to support The DMRF Gillian's Hope Fund, with a goal to reach $3 million.  Upon achieving its target, Gillian's Hope will support the recruitment of an MSologist to our region.  As the only specialist of this kind in Atlantic Canada, the MSologist position will be dedicated 70 per cent to MS research, with the remaining time devoted to clinical work, patient and public education, and physician training.

“The DMRF Gillian’s Hope fund was created in honour of my dear friend Gillian who has lived with Multiple Sclerosis for over two-decades,” says Margot.  “Too many people in our region and around the world are suffering with this debilitating condition.  An MSologist’s work would significantly impact Multiple Sclerosis research in the Maritimes and around the globe”.  The Gillian’s Hope MSologist will be focused on four key areas of MS research: immunology, genetics, MRI diagnosis and environmental factors.

With the strong neuroscience program that already exists at Dalhousie University, an MSologist would bring together researchers with a common interest in Multiple Sclerosis, fostering collaboration between research and clinical care - this benefits patients and their families. 

“Multiple Sclerosis is the most common, serious neurological disease affecting young adults,” says Dr. T. Jock Murry, neurologist, author, former Dean of Medicine for Dalhousie Medical School, and founder and director of the Dalhousie Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit. “In the Maritimes we have a coordinated MS research unit that provides care, research, and education.  It was designed 35 years ago to encourage other researchers to bring their skills and scientific expertise to address the underlying questions about the disease and the problems facing individual patients. We now need a well-trained MSologist who can carry out important research and collaborate with other professionals in MS research programs.” 

 “Gillian’s Hope was designed so that anyone can give to this important cause,” says Margot.  “While we are pleased to already have over $1 million endowed to the fund, we are eager to reach our goal of $3 million and bring hope to the thousands of people who are impacted by MS in the Maritimes and beyond”.  

The Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation was founded in 1979 as an independent funding agency, established for the sole purpose of supporting excellence in medical research at Dalhousie Medical School and its affiliated institutions. 

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For more information, please contact:

Christena Copeland, Manager, Planned Giving & Communications
Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation
Tel:  902-494-1856        Cell: 902-441-8362    Email: christena.copeland@dal.ca