Wednesday, December 12, 2012


2012 Advocacy Hall of Fame inductees
At the Society’s 2012 Leadership Conference, held in November, more than 600 MS Activists, fundraisers, donors, team captains, volunteer leaders, and Society staff came together under the theme “A Shared Promise” to strengthen their commitment and make even greater progress in the coming year towards a World Free of MS.

The conference, which took place in Dallas, Texas, featured general sessions highlighting advocacy and research, as well as multiple workshop sessions—including an advocacy workshop where three advocacy hall of fame recipients shared their personal stories of activism. One evening, Society CEO/President Cyndi Zagieboylo and National Board of Directors Chairman Eli Rubenstein officially inducted an impressive bunch into the Society’s 2012 Volunteer Hall of Fame. For more on the Hall of Fame, click here. The Hall of Fame’s advocacy category recognizes MS Activists who help drive change at the local, state, or national level.

Seven MS Activists were inducted into the 2012 Advocacy Hall of Fame:

  • Patti Barker is described as a “driving force” of the MS Movement in the South Central Region. She serves as the Chair of the Oklahoma Government Relations Committee, a member of the Oklahoma Leadership Council, and on the Region’s Board of Trustees. 
  • Yvonne Brown, of the National Capital Chapter, has been an MS activist for eight years. Yvonne provided inspiring testimony at the Social Security Administration’s Compassionate Allowances Outreach Hearing on Autoimmune Diseases that helped speed disability benefits for those with advanced MS. She has also developed significant relationships with local and national government officials. 
  • Linda Buchwald, MD, from the Greater New England Chapter, is a member of the Society’s Medical Advisory Board and the chapter’s Clinical Advisory Committee. A neurologist, Dr. Buchwald is the Director of the Mt. Auburn Hospital MS Care Center and a champion of MS issues across the federal, state, and private sectors. 
  • Robin D’Andrea joined the Long Island Chapter’s Government Relations Committee over ten years ago and has co-chaired the committee for about eight years. She is a licensed Social Worker who has been living with MS for 15 years. 
  • Mike Daisley has been a dedicated volunteer for more than 32 years. Mike has helped the Greater Carolinas Chapter develop a successful advocacy network. 
  • Bonnie Danowski, from the Arizona Chapter, is the primary caregiver for her husband, Jim, who has been living with MS for over 40 years. Bonnie has been an MS Activist for 22 years, helped develop her Chapter’s Government Relations Committee, and advocates for respite funding for family caregivers at the national and state levels. 
  • Nan Luke, of the Pacific South Coast Chapter is a practicing attorney and chairs the Pacific South Coast Chapter’s Government Relations Committee. In 1997, after beginning treatment for her MS, Nan reprioritized her life to include service to the Society.
To learn more about this group of highly dedicated, passionate MS Activists, you can read their complete biographies here. Congrats, inductees! You are true role models!

These individuals were honored during the Leadership Conference, but we would like to add an additional thank you for all of their hard work as dedicated MS Activists from around the country!

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