MS Society awards Fort St. John woman for volunteerism, leadership

For five years, Fort St. John resident Sherri Mytopher has lived with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.

Instead of letting her diagnosis take over her life, it fueled her to raise awareness about the disease which resulted into helping more people affected by MS than she could have imagined.

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Mytopher is a member of the MS Society of Canada’s BC & Yukon Division Northern Regional Chapter Council and played a key role in organizing the first MS Walk in Fort St. John in 2017. Her inspiring efforts in volunteering, public awareness and community leadership has made a significant impact to the MS communities in Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Taylor and Hudson’s Hope.

“It is so important to be an active member of the MS community because I can bring awareness about MS to people around me. I can empower people living with MS and let them know they are not alone,” she said.

Mytopher was presented with the 2018 BC & Yukon Division’s MS Champion Award along with Joanne Craven from Abbotsford. They were among seven individuals who were recognized for their exceptional volunteer efforts for the organization on Nov. 3 at the inaugural MS Connect ’18 conference in Sheraton Guildford Vancouver Hotel.

“Winning this award shows that the work I’ve done is making an impact and that it is being recognized,” Mytopher said. 

“I stay engaged with the MS Society so I can keep up to date with advancements and therefore be able to keep others informed.”

More than 100,000 Canadians suffer from multiple sclerosis, which attacks the central nervous system, specifically myelin, the protective covering of nerves, and damages myelin to the point where nerve impulses are disrupted in their travels through the body.

MS is unpredictable, its symptoms different for everyone who lives with it. Some have a constant numbness in their hands and arms, or suffer from chronic fatigue. Others lose their vision or their mobility.

There are around 800 MS patients in the Northern Health area, with between 100 to 120 of them in Fort St. John and surrounding area. The Prince George MS Clinic sees an average of one to two referral a week from the area since the new MRI machine was installed in the hospital.

The MS Society provides programs and services for people living with MS and their families, and funds research to help improve the quality of life for people living with MS and to ultimately find a cure for this disease.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

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