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Scholarship Funds Week Of Respite For Two Connecticut Residents

HEBRON, Conn. — The recent MS Vacation Week offered attendees a chance to swim, fish, do yoga and take part in a trip to the casino. For Niantic, Conn., resident Rita Hempstead, however, there was only one event she absolutely had to attend.

“She just had to go to scrapbooking,” said Sharon Donahue, Hempstead’s daughter, who came up from Georgetown, Texas, to attend the weeklong camp with her mother. “She mentioned it about five times yesterday.”

Rita Hempstead
Rita Hempstead of Niantic, Conn., center, enjoys National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter’s MS Vacation Week 2008 thanks in part to the Susan A. Hyams Memorial Scholarship, named in memory of the daughter of Alice and Herb Margolis of West Hartford, Conn.  
Hempstead is one of two Connecticut residents living with multiple sclerosis who received the Susan A. Hyams Memorial Scholarship this year to attend MS Vacation Week 2008. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter also named Peter Clark of Ellington, Conn.,  a scholarship recipient.

The scholarship enabled Hempstead and Clark, to attend MS Vacation Week, a weeklong respite at Easter Seals Hemlocks Recreation Center in Hebron, Conn., from June 22 through June 27. Camp Hemlocks is specially designed for accessibility, and the facility provides a unique environment allowing for optimal opportunity and independence.

The annual fund was established in 2003 by West Hartford resident and Connecticut Children's Medical Center physician Jeffrey Hyams, M.D., as a tribute to his wife, who succumbed to complications related to multiple sclerosis in 2002.

“Our daughter loved MS Vacation Week so much we thought it was appropriate that there be a scholarship in her honor,” said Alice Margolis of West Hartford, who visited the camp this year with her husband, Herb.

More than 6,000 Connecticut residents live with multiple sclerosis, a chronic and often disabling disease of the central nervous system. There currently is no cure. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness and, in some more severe cases, tota

Peter Clark
Peter Clark of Ellington, Conn., plays bingo at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter’s recent MS Vacation Week 2008. Clark is one of two Connecticut individuals living with multiple sclerosis who attended the annual retreat thanks in part to the Susan A. Hyams Memorial Scholarship.
l paralysis. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.

“MS Vacation Week is a rare opportunity for those living in advanced stages of MS to experience fun-filled camp activities, not usually accessible or achievable because of the disabling effects of the disease,” states Lisa Gerrol, chapter president. “We are thankful to Dr. Hyams for his generous support, which annually funds camper fees, personal care assistance and transportation for clients to attend this vital program.”

If you would like to know more about MS Vacation Week or the Susan A. Hyams Memorial Fund, please contact Amy Watkins, assistant chapter programs manager at 860-714-2300, ext. 247, or awatkins@ctfightsMS.org.

For More Information
Contact Lisa Cook
Communications Specialist
Phone: 860.714.2300, ext. 249


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