Voluntary contributions are critical to the future success and growth of the MS Center. While the majority of comprehensive care provided to people with MS is supported by insurance and other means, the extensive services provided at the Center are expensive, often exceeding the amount provided by insurance or fees. Also, the Center provides care regardless of ability to pay. We depend on voluntary support from interested citizens and grateful patients and their families to underwrite some of the cost of the care we provide.
The search for and development of better ways to control, treat and cure MS are at the heart of our mission. We have been uniquely successful in fulfilling this mission as the only Center worldwide to participate actively in the discovery and development of both beta interferon (Betaseron, Avonex) and glatiramer acetate (Copaxone) as the approved drugs to improve the long-term course of MS. The job is not yet done. While these drugs have opened a new era, they do not cure the disease and many MS persons will still have to live with serious fixed and increasing disabilities. Many avenues of research are open to us and many promising therapies need to be tested. The will and the scientific ability are available here. However, the funds to underwrite the effort often are lacking, especially when we need to test new rehabilitation techniques or ways to improve the quality of life for our patients.
Obtaining funds for medical research in the United States is competitive, with the process often requiring that we produce preliminary information that suggests that an expensive major project will be successful. Frequently, the critical ingredient is the preliminary research, which opens the door to whole new regions of research and discovery. The availability of unrestricted funds provided by voluntary contributions is vital to early research on new treatments required to further our mission of understanding MS and improving the lives of patients with the disease.
All contributions are tax exempt and are placed in audited accounts of the University of Maryland Foundation. All funds are used exclusively to further comprehensive patient care and to support innovative research at the Center.
While the Center's needs are most often best met with unrestricted funds, there are occasions when a donor may wish to provide funds for a specific purpose, such as underwriting special equipment, sponsorship of a research fellowship, partial support of nursing services or educational activities. Naming opportunities for major components of the Center are available. The Center director would be happy to discuss special interests with donors.
Contributions can be sent to:
The Maryland Center for Multiple Sclerosis/UMB Foundation
University of Maryland
110 South Paca Street, 3rd floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21201