MS READ-A-THON: “A MILLION EPIC ADVENTURES FOR ONE INCREDIBLE CAUSE”
Established fundraiser supports Canadians living with Multiple Sclerosis while encouraging a love of reading in children
TORONTO, O.N. (June 8, 2023) — MS Canada’s annual MS Read-a-Thon took place virtually from April 1 to April 30. The long-time fundraiser encourages children, families, and classrooms across the country to read as many books as possible while raising funds to support Canadians living with multiple sclerosis (MS). This year’s campaign saw 78 teams and 29 schools registered, and 1,674 total participants. Participants read well over 1,000 books and raised $73,874 so far for Canadians affected by MS.
R.H. McGregor Elementary School in East York, O.N. was MS Read-a-Thon's top school fundraiser this year, raising $10,254.79. Return MS Read-a-Thon participant Isabella Martchenko was this year’s top child fundraiser. Martchenko, who has been a top child fundraiser for MS Read-a-Thon three times, read over 500 books and raised $7,240.12 for people affected by MS.
For over 40 years, MS Read-a-Thon has encouraged literacy and a love of reading in children across Canada, all while building awareness and working towards a world free of MS. Funds raised through MS Read-a-Thon primarily support MS Canada’s 1:1 Peer Support Program, a telephone and internet-based service for people living with MS, and their loved ones, who have specific MS-related questions or are seeking a listening and empathetic ear from someone else affected by MS.
MS Read-a-Thon has been offered virtually for the past four years, and the website provides fun, interactive ways for participants to get involved. Kids can track the books they read, customize avatars, earn stars and badges as they reach fundraising milestones, and more. New this year, participants can also provide book reviews and recommendations to one another on the website’s “Reading Corner.” Please note that aside from the homepage, the MS Read-A-Thon website is currently available in English only.
Registration for MS Read-a-Thon is free, and children can register as part of their school or individually. People of all ages are also encouraged to participate, and this year’s MS Read-a-Thon saw an increase in adult participation.
“MS Read-a-Thon offers our participants the opportunity to turn the simple action of reading a book into creating a ripple effect of impacting the lives of more than 90,000 Canadians living with MS,” says Nicole Sullivan, Director, Community Fundraising, at MS Canada. “This collective action means people of all ages can showcase their love of reading, all while making a difference in the lives of the MS Community coast-to-coast.”
Authors also participate in MS Read-a-Thon by becoming Ambassadors for the fundraiser. Two new MS Read-a-Thon Ambassadors, authors Wesley King and Kevin Sylvester, joined the campaign this year. King has written thirteen young adult novels, received over 20 literary awards, and collaborated with Kobe Bryant on the #1 New York Times Bestselling Wizenard Series. Sylvester has written and illustrated over 30 books for kids and co-wrote and illustrated The Fabulous Zed Watson! with his kid Basil. The book was on the short-list for the 2021 Governor General’s award and the TD Book of the Year Award.
While April’s campaign has ended, it is never too late to participate in MS Read-a-Thon and support the MS Community. MS Read-a-Thon is open for donations and participation year-round, and MS Canada can provide support and guidance to those interested.
Visit MSReadAThon.ca to learn more or sign-up.
About MS Canada
MS Canada fosters meaningful connections both within the MS community, and between the MS community and research, programs, resources, and services. As of 2023, MS Canada amalgamates two previously known entities, the MS Society of Canada and the MS Scientific Research Foundation, continuing its work toward the same vision of a world free of multiple sclerosis. The MS community is at the centre of MS Canada. For 75 years we have been relentless in our fight, continuously funding research to expand the current MS knowledge base. We also advocate for people living with MS, asking the government to remove barriers and improve policies that impact their everyday lives. For more information visit mscanada.ca
About multiple sclerosis (MS)
Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the world. On average, 12 Canadians are diagnosed every day. MS is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord). Most people are diagnosed with MS between the ages of 20 and 49. It is considered an episodic disability meaning that the severity and duration of episodes of illness and disability can vary, often followed by periods of wellness. It can also be progressive.