‘Shop to Stop’ event to aid multiple sclerosis research

By Alex Frank….
The second annual Shop to Stop MS event will raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis patient care and research.

The event will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Saks Fifth Avenue in Dadeland, 7687 N. Kendall Dr. Miami Magazine, the South Florida chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the University of Miami MS Center of Excellence are sponsoring this year’s event.

Shop to Stop will include cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, sweet treats, musical entertainment and 15 percent off purchases throughout the store. Five percent of all sales go directly to the UM MS Center of Excellence and the South Florida MS Society.

“Shop to Stop will be an evening where guests in an informal setting will be able to meet the MS doctors at the University of Miami and shop for a good cause,” said Susan Fox Rosellini, senior director of development in the Department of Neurology at the UM Miller School of Medicine.

The event aims to raise money for research and awareness of MS, a chronic, sometimes disabling disease of the central nervous system, the brain, spinal cord and the optic nerves. The disease affects more than 400,000 people in the United States.

The fundraiser specifically raises money for the MS Center of Excellence at the University of Miami, which offers services in a state-of-the-art-clinic, an infusion lab for patients, a MRI imaging system so patients can track the disease and education in medication management, physical therapy and occupational therapy.

This program is unique, advancing in genome research and the development of new medications. Research into better diagnosis and treatment of the disease is ongoing as well as working toward a cure.

“It is a very exciting time because of the recent breakthroughs for a cure for the disease,” Rosellini said. “It was recently announced that the first oral drug for patients is coming out in early January or February. Until now all the disease treatments have been infusions and injectables.”

Rosellini is the professional advisor of the Shop to Stop MS committee that also includes Nicki Friedland, Jamie Rubenstein, Frankie Linsky, Jennifer Gould and Melissa Weingarden. The committee works together to plan the occasion, find sponsors and make sure the event runs smoothly.

Shop to Stop MS allows community members to have an active role in raising money and awareness in a fun and exciting way.

“Battling multiple sclerosis and it being such a personal cause, I am working hard to promote the event and have the best turnout possible,” said committee chair Friedland.

The committee hopes to double last year’s attendance and raise more than $10,000.

“With donations from local businesses like Joanna’s Marketplace, Joelle’s Desserts, Southern Wine and Spirits, Hot Cookies, Wendy’s Chocolates and Marilyn Lapidus, it is sure to be an amazing event,” Friedland said.

“We brought Saks to the event with other sponsors and partners along with marketing and production support to help such a great cause,” said Leslie Wolfson, president of Miami Magazine.

Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door. A ticket includes entry to the event and a $25 Saks gift card. To purchase tickets, call 305-243-1388 or go online to <http://neurology.med.miami.edu/>.

Alex Frank is a student at the University of Florida.

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