29th MS Readathon officially launched

Young Offaly readers urged to take part

By Offaly Express Reporter

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29th MS Readathon officially launched

Deirdre O Kane & David Rawle launch 29th MS Readathon

The 29th MS Readathon officially launched at the National Library of Ireland with Deirdre O’Kane and Moone boy actor David Rawle, joining national MS ambassador family Gerard Murphy, who is living with MS, and his 17-year-old daughter Lauren.

Lauren invented a smart device that helps people with MS grip and hold objects, as a transition year student which put her in the running for $4m worth of prizes and scholarships competing with students from all over the world.

Young readers in Counties Laois and Offaly are encouraged to take part in the month-long sponsored reading campaign to raise funds for vital services for people with Multiple Sclerosis in their region. The reading month takes place from Friday October 7th to Monday November 7th 2016. Please visitwww.msreadathon.ie for more information.

“I was very happy to be asked to support MS Readathon this year. It’s great to get kids reading more, enjoying all the exciting books out there and at the same time they are helping people with Multiple Sclerosis and their families,” commented actor Deirdre O’Kane.

Moone Boy actor David Rawle said: “MS Readathon is an excellent way for children to be involved in a good cause, while improving their own reading ability."

The theme for the 29th MS Readathon is all about adventure with a burst of reading ‘helping children to live a zillion adventures in a month’.

Irish author Cecelia Ahern, comments on the adventures of reading for MS Readathon 2016: “Books are magical. When you open the cover you are sucked into different worlds, you go on exciting adventures and learn new things. You can even make new friends. For a moment in your life, you have a secret world just for you, all in your head.  And if it’s a really good book, it stays in your mind even when you close the pages. Read, read, read - and go on one secret adventure after another!"

MS Readathon is the key annual fundraising campaign of Multiple Sclerosis Ireland, the national services, information and advocacy organisation supporting people living with MS. To increase awareness about MS for young readers, MS schools ambassadors, people living with MS, visit their local schools and talk about the complexity of the condition and the nature of relapses, or attacks when MS symptoms flare up.

More than 9,000 people are living with MS in Ireland, with thousands more family members affected. Multiple sclerosis is the most common disabling neurological condition of young adults in Ireland, most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40. There is currently no known cause or cure for the condition. The variance in presence, severity and duration of MS symptoms coupled with the intermittent and progressive nature of MS impacts not only the person with MS but also family.

Ava Battles, Chief Executive, MS Ireland comments: “We are very grateful for the support from young readers, their schools and their families and the message so far has been ‘thank you for reading’ while at the same time we are encouraging as many schools as possible to sign up for MS Readathon 2016. In the year marking 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl, we have been looking back to when the great children’s author launched the very first MS Readathon. Heading towards 30 years, MS Readathon is a hugely supported campaign that encourages reading and at the same time, raises funds for vital services for people living with Multiple Sclerosis.”

There is strong support as always from Irish authors for MS Readathon 2016, including Sarah Webb, Judi Curtin, Ruth Long, Alan Early, Oisin McGann, Anna Carey, Nicola Pierce, Marita Conlon McKenna, Derek Landy, Matthew Griffin, Paula Leyden, Cecilia Ahern and Marisa Mackle.

For participating schools around the country, the 29th MS Readathon will provide:

 

·         Information leaflets, stickers and posters for each class

·         A reading certificate for each participant

·         Many fantastic rewards and prize draws

·         Up to 10 per cent of funds raised by each participating school may go towards the individual school

 

To get involved with the 2016 MS Readathon:

Tel 01 678 1600, Email read@msreadathon.ie or visit www.msreadathon.ie

For more information on MS and MS Ireland, visit our website on www.ms-society.ie, call our information line on 1850 233 233 or email info@ms-society.ie.