I’m usually very happy with everything in each month’s O magazine, but this month (July 2014) there’s something that is really bothering me. In your Gratitude Meter, you list the the movie When I Walk, which is a documentary about a man’s life with Multiple Sclerosis, as a 1. You then list an ATM-like machine that dispenses cupcakes as a 5.
Approximately 400,000 people in the US alone have Multiple Sclerosis, and that’s a conservative number, since that is just the cases that have been diagnosed. It’s estimated that 2.3 MILLION people worldwide have MS. I am one of those people.
I would happily and without a second thought give up cupcakes, all desserts, sugar, and any other foods for the rest of my life if it meant a cure for my disease. I’m pretty sure most of us with MS feel this way.
MS can take away out ability to walk, to see, to use our hands, to hold our children, to smile, to think, to be independent, to feel useful, to laugh, to live. Compared having access to all that, 24 hour access to cupcakes is so low on the priority list, it’s not even written in the same language.
In all honestly, I was angry, insulted, and a little disgusted that you chose to rate access to cupcakes higher than a story about a person’s struggle with MS. True, it’s “just a movie”, but it’s a movie that can educate people about MS, and about the struggles and brave fights those of us with it are forced to face everyday. In order find a cure for MS, there needs to be more research (we don’t even know what causes it yet, let alone how to cure it). And for more research to take place, we need money. And for more money, we need to educate people about the disease. In the last 20 years we have developed numerous disease-modifying medications that slow the progression of the disease. It’s only been in the last 10-15 years that children have begun to be diagnosed with MS. 50 years ago it was an “old person’s disease” and if you were diagnosed with it, you were told you would “end up paralyzed.” These changes have come about because of research, a better understanding of the disease, and educating people about it. Think of what the next 20 years could bring us if we have the same amount of education and research – maybe even a cure.
But sadly, favoring things like 24 hour access to baked good for those late night munchies over the importance of a documentary that not only entertains but educates people, is only going to hold us back. And I hate to see O Magazine holding anyone back.