For the ninth consecutive year, the traditional MS Walk took place at Bundek in Zagreb, marking World Multiple Sclerosis Day. This event turned the destination into a vibrant orange hue. In 2023, as many as 15 cities across Croatia and abroad joined this charitable action to raise awareness about the needs of people living with multiple sclerosis. The park at Bundek, once again, became the centerpiece of this event, where a large number of people walked in support of those who cannot. The goal was to show solidarity and support for those affected by this increasingly prevalent disease – multiple sclerosis.
The significant number of participants walking at Bundek raised awareness for the approximately 7,000 people currently living with multiple sclerosis in Croatia. Unfortunately, the number of individuals affected by this disease continues to rise, making the need to raise awareness more critical than ever before. It’s important to note that multiple sclerosis is a disease that doesn’t discriminate. It affects individuals of all ages, genders, and lifestyles. People with this condition want to live their lives with the best possible quality. As previously announced, besides advocating for finding a cure as soon as possible, the primary focus this year, in 2023, was on the need to establish an MS Center in Croatia. This center would provide better care and ease the daily lives of those with multiple sclerosis.
Individuals with multiple sclerosis require a different approach to treatment and a specialized team of experts from various medical fields during their care. They also require rehabilitation after disease progression. One of the topics discussed was the new revolutionary application called MS Tim Hrvatska, which significantly simplifies the lives of those affected. It reminds them to take their medication, schedule doctor appointments, and keeps their medical records digitally in one place.
The highlight of the event was the mass “MS walk” – a walk around Lake Bundek.
“The developed application is a great help in our daily lives. It serves as a kind of diary where we can input our daily condition, and we can also contact the neurologist or recognize disease exacerbation in time. All of this is extremely important. The next important step we advocate for is the establishment of an MS center. It would elevate patient care in Croatia to an entirely new level,” said Mirjam Jukić, the president of the Association of People with Multiple Sclerosis – MS Tim.
During the MS talk on the topic of innovations in multiple sclerosis treatment, Dr. med. Ivan Adamec was a guest speaker. Additionally, motivational lectures were held. Ivana Miškulin spoke about “Motherhood and MS,” while Melita Mikašek discussed the topic of “Multiple Sclerosis: The End or the Beginning?” And, once again this year, the well-known Croatian stand-up comedian Vlatko Štampar brought some relaxation and laughter.
The culmination of the event was the mass MS Walk – a walk around Lake Bundek. In this walk, besides those with multiple sclerosis and their family members, ordinary citizens also joined in to show their support. Every step counts, as it is a well-known motto of the campaign. Given the great turnout, it is expected that this year’s steps will exceed the previous record of an impressive 11 million steps collected! The representatives of the MS TIM Hrvatska association express their gratitude to everyone who contributed to this year’s event and appeal to all to maintain a positive attitude, as it is an essential part of the fight for each person affected by multiple sclerosis. For more information about this association, you can visit their website at mstim.hr.