This is National MS Awareness Week, and the National MS Society theme asks people what MS equals to them. Here is what I put on the NMSS site and shared with fellow blogger Michael Gerber of Perspective is Everything on his Facebook site:
“MS = Unimaginable opportunities! For all that MS has taken from me I’ve discovered even more in return, from meeting my wife of five years – who also has MS – to discovering the inner strength I never knew I had.”
I was pleased with my comments, but for some reason I thought there was something more to the “MS=” theme. Maybe my hunch had something to do with my brother, sister and sister-in-law all being math teachers and it’s not uncommon for them to throw around standard mathematical equations like “a2 + b2 = c2” or “y = mx +b” or some other thing like that.
So I went on a quick quest to see if there was something more to what MS equals. I turned to Jennifer and my friend Katrina, a math professor at Central Michigan University. In some ways I was right, but it actually went beyond math and really hit at the core of what pushes us all forward.
Here’s the true story, and it all started with an e-mail where I humbly asked Katrina with all the mathematics and statistics equations, etc., is there something that could connect the MS Awareness Week theme of MS = with a mathematics equation?
And bless Katrina for humoring me because she did some thinking about this. Among her initial thoughts were that “ms” is the abbreviation for milliseconds (1/1000 of a second), so there could be something related to time or that m/s is meters per second, so it could be something related to speed.
But Katrina decided to bounce my idea off her husband, Mike, and this is where they found an explanation. In her e-mail to me Katrina wrote:
I decided to pose your question to Mike since he has a stronger science background than I do, and I thought that physics might have some good equations to work with. It ends up that my instinct was right, and Mike was able to come up with the stuff below:
The momentum equation is p = mv where m is mass and v is velocity. Even though velocity isn’t the same thing as speed, you could say that MS = Momentum.
Such a conclusion was all I needed because my quest had come full circle.
This logic from Katrina and Mike directly tied MS to equal “Momentum,” which coincidentally is the name of the official quarterly magazine of the National MS Society and directly ties into the NMSS tagline of “Join the movement.”
So as we continue celebrating National MS Awareness Week, I want to thank Katrina and Mike for finding an answer to my question, as well as to everyone else who is helping Jennifer and me to move forward with MS and our lives.
What does MS equal to you?