The New Jersey Metro Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has been awarded $30,000 by OceanFirst Foundation of Toms River to support the residents of Kershaw Commons, the East Coast’s first accessible, affordable rental residency for people needing specialized services. The final $10,000 installment of this three-year grant enables the chapter to provide educational and recreational programs and services for those living with multiple sclerosis at Kershaw Commons and the surrounding community.
Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and the progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted.
Through programs and services, such as wellness classes, one-on-one consultations, self-help groups and social programs, the chapter works to empower those living with MS. With the funds secured from OceanFirst Foundation, the chapter conducted such programs on-site at Kershaw Commons for residents and community members living with MS.
“We truly appreciate the OceanFirst grant that allows the chapter to provide educational and social programs for people with MS,” said Lisa Torre-Janssen, manager of programs for the chapter. “It’s wonderful how everyone at Kershaw is able to stay connected with their families and friends in this community through these activities.”
One resident, Frank DeMonico, knows firsthand the importance of such on-site chapter activities. Frank was diagnosed with MS in his early twenties. Once a prominent musician – DeMonico was a member of the Rutgers University marching band and Monmouth Country Orchestra – DeMonico had to stop playing clarinet after he lost dexterity in his fingers. Feeling disconnected after his move to Kershaw Commons, DeMonico attended a chapter-sponsored self-help group, and became a repeat guest. DeMonico now attends music therapy classes, volunteers through the chapter’s Computer Outreach Program and is a self-help group regular.
“These special programs at Kershaw Commons have helped me find my self-worth again,” DeMonico said. “I am so glad that the NJ Metro Chapter received support from OceanFirst so these valuable programs can exist and help so many of us manage the effects of MS every day.”
Since its founding in 1902, OceanFirst Bank (www.oceanfirst.com) has built a solid reputation and legacy as a good neighbor and responsible corporate citizen. The Bank’s strong commitment to helping families, organizations, schools and communities throughout central New Jersey meet their financial needs has spanned several generations reaching new heights in 1996 with the creation of OceanFirst Foundation. The Foundation provides grants to organizations that meet community needs within the OceanFirst market area. Since its inception, OceanFirst Foundation has contributed more than $25 million to over 600 local charities and schools in Ocean, Monmouth and Middlesex counties. To learn more about OceanFirst Foundation visitwww.oceanfirstfdn.org.
About the New Jersey Metro Chapter
The New Jersey Metro Chapter of the National MS Society is committed to helping the more than 10,000 people living with multiple sclerosis in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties. The chapter raises funds locally to support the Society’s critical research initiatives and to provide hundreds of comprehensive support services and educational programs for people living with MS, their family and friends.
About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The Society addresses the challenges of each person affected by MS. To fulfill this mission, the Society funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, facilitates professional education, collaborates with MS organizations around the world and provides programs and services designed to help people living with MS and their families move forward with their lives. In 2013 alone, through its national office and 50-state network of chapters, the Society devoted $121.9 million to its programs and services that assisted more than one million people. To move us closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested $48 million to support over 380 new and on-going research projects around the world. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. Join the movement at www.nationalMSsociety.org.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.