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Friendship, Connection, and Volunteering: The MS Young Professionals Network (MSYPN)

Founded in 2004, the RMMSC’s MS Young Professionals Network (MSYPN) is a key component of our support programming for people living with MS and provides an opportunity for young professionals to raise awareness of MS in Colorado through networking, fundraising and volunteer events.

Members include young professionals between the ages of 18 and 40 who have a connection to MS or have an interest in learning more about MS. MSYPN members join us for meaningful volunteer activities, networking opportunities, and for MS support and social engagement. Throughout the year, MSYPN members and their friends meet at networking happy hours, plan special fundraising events, and Board socials.

The MSYPN is also embarking on developing an exciting new mentorship program. Through this program, MSYPN members will be trained as mentors for pediatric MS patients. MSYPN volunteers would visit with young patients and their families so that mentors can share their story of living with MS and provide a positive and inspirational mentorship. The overall goal of the mentorship is to foster a sense of connection, camaraderie, and hope. — Reese Garcia, MSYPN Member

“I’m involved with MSYPN because the struggle of MS is often hidden from others to some degree, and there aren’t many places to go and talk openly where people just get it,” says Andrew Collier, MSYPN member. “The individuals involved with MSYPN understand we can help each other out in a myriad of ways as we talk openly about dealing with the healthcare and insurance system, as we share our symptoms and what we’ve learned dealing with them in the world, and as we welcome new people to the group. We energize each other sometimes as we discuss ideas for volunteer work and other ways to be more effective in our pursuits.”

“When I was first diagnosed I was lost and didn’t have anyone to talk to about my condition,” explains Edward Huss, MSYPN member. “Since joining the MSYPN group, that has changed for me. I now know lots of young professionals that are all connected through MS. It’s a group that understands me and offers support when it’s needed. MS is a very unique condition and MSYPN is a community that can help you get through tough times. I remember feeling alone and that’s why I encourage everyone affected by MS to come and join our community because you don’t have to go through it by yourself.”

“I knew very few people, I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into,” says MSYPN member Reese Garcia. “Being recently diagnosed with MS, sometimes jumping into a ‘support group’ is slightly intimidating at best. What I found at the MS Center, however, was quite the opposite. I was welcomed into a group that knew exactly what I was going through, because they were going through the same thing. Fast forward to the present and what I saw was the same thing I experienced my first time with the group: We were all people, who happened to have MS or a connection to MS, gathering for a cause but also supporting one another, checking up on recent appointments, and having a good time. As the MSYPN grows, it’s great to see new and old faces that gather for a worthwhile cause.”

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