Monday, September 15, 2014

Genzyme's Challenge MS Exhibit During #MSBoston2014

I mentioned yesterday that last week #MSBoston2014 was held here.  It was a meeting of over 8,000 scientists presenting their MS research.  It was held in Back Bay at the Hynes Convention Center and since the Pru is attached Genzyme used it as an opportunity to have an exhibit that could raise awareness and allow people to experience some of the more common symptoms.

I was invited by Ilana who works for a PR company and Genzyme is one of her clients.  She found my blog somehow and wanted to get my opinion on the exhibit! I was more than happy to check it out especially since it included a dinner date with a friend afterwards!

There were three hands on exhibits each having to do with a different MS symptom - fatigue, cognition and vision impairment.

The vision exhibit was the most eye catching while walking through the mall (see what I did there - haha)!  You looked through the glasses to see the MS info in the photo below.  Only it wasn't that clear. . .

When looking through the lens you saw the info the way someone living with MS with vision issues might see it.  Very blurry and not too easy to read!

The next exhibit showed what it might be like for people dealing with fatigue.  Fatigue is one of my biggest issues so I know first hand how that feels.  I think this exhibit gave a great visual for what it is like.  These over exaggerated cups, plate, salt & pepper, etc show just how it might feel for someone with MS to have to set the table when feeling fatigued.  They look at a cup and it may look like it weighs 100 pound to them and feel that heavy to pick up!

Oh and that wine glass - that was about the amount of wine I felt I needed the night I attended this exhibit after a particularly busy/stressful day at work!

The last exhibit was a memory game to show what it might be like for people with MS who have cognition issues.  They basically showed you some numbers then turned them around and you had to recall the numbers.  For people with MS remember simple things can be very challenging.  I don't deal with this personally thankfully but I have friends that do and I know it is very difficult for them especially when working.

I think Genzyme did an excellent job with their "Challenge MS" exhibit.  It raised awareness for sure.  Just in the time I was there I saw a ton of "regular" people walk by and check it out.  How cool that people were willing to take a few minutes out of their evening to learn more about MS!

If you tweeted during the event to @genzymecorp using hashtag #GZChallengeMS they will pledge volunteer hours to the MS community (one hour for each tweet).  Very cool!

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