Did you know kids get MS too?
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society states, "we estimate that there are 8-10,000 children and teens with MS in the United States. We also believe there are another 10-15,000 children and teens with other central nervous system demyelinating disorders with symptoms similar to those seen in MS."
Helping reduce the life changing realities of Pediatric MS by providing age appropriate resources, advocacy, and community.
When symptoms first appeared during the first week of 8th grade, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) was far from the imagination of her family, though her dad had been diagnosed with MS 13 years earlier. Tingling, loss of balance, vision difficulty, fatigue, and headaches filled most of the 8th grade year, as did 1-2 visits a week to physical therapy and occupational therapy. After 14 months, on November 18, 2011, Emily was diagnosed with MS when a repeat MRI revealed new lesions.
High school was challenging as Emily attended 50% of her classes in school. She completed the rest of her work on her own, also finishing 11 independent study classes, in order to graduate on time with her class. She DID graduate on time and has since earned a BA in Communications and in October, 2019.
Emily is committed to her advocacy for pediatric MS, finding ways for kids and teens to connect and network across the nation and the world, and doing her part to find the cure for MS!
The Mr. Oscar the Monkey's birth
Oscar was created by Emily Blosberg who, when diagnosed at the age of 15, found it difficult to find other teens walking her MS path. She loves to work with her hands and created Oscar from a pair of orange hunting socks. There is no agreed-upon consensus on how Oscar got his name, but Emily's story is that he simply looked like Oscar. She has now made it her mission to connect kids and teens with MS to one another, locally and nationally. She knows that life with MS can be lonely and difficult, but connecting with others can help so very much!
To provide the connection, Emily created Oscar’s Buddies to go out into the world to be a friend to anyone who requested one. More than 500 Buddies have found their home with a child, teen, or child-at-heart - someone with MS who wanted their own understanding friend.
Oscar’s goal was to host a Buddy Bash. Families of children with MS are invited to come together to share a long weekend of fun, fellowship, stories, education, and laughter. Since 2019, families have come together each President's Day weekend (February) to find a space for each person in the family to have a voice and a place to connect.
Oscar hosted Oscar's Teen MS Camp for the first time in July, 2019. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was no teen camp in 2020, but 2021 brought 18 together to share a week of learning, playing, and building new friendships. Please see our donors page for links to our corporate donors, whom we thank profusely. Because of our corporate AND private donors, we are able to host Oscar's MS Teen Camp and Buddy Bash at a very low cost to participants ($25-35 per person).
2021 was the year for Oscar's first academic scholarships! 1 family presented a scholarship in honor of their mom who lived fully with her MS and a second scholarship was presented by a corporate donor to the student essay who best fit their company's mission. Combined with scholarship dollars given by private donors, $3000 in total scholarship dollars was given to students in the inaugural year.
Emily’s dreams for Oscar the MS Monkey are being recognized with the help of a fantastic and hard-working Board of Directors!
James Hammock - Chair
Christine Winn - Vice Chair
Andrea Blosberg - Secretary
Dean Blosberg - Treasurer