For my Father: Reflections of a U.S. Senator’s Journey with MS

Multiple Sclerosis is a complex disease that has impacted families across the country for far too long. As a United States Senator and as the Ranking Member of the Senate health committee, I believe Congress should be doing everything we can to help the patients and families who are impacted in so many ways by MS. But I also believe this strongly as a family member — because I have seen firsthand how devastating this disease can be.

My father was a World War II Veteran who was one of the first to storm the beaches of Okinawa, and was a recipient of a Purple Heart. Many years later, he was diagnosed with MS.

In a few short years, he could no longer work at the five-and-dime store he ran, and without warning our family fell on hard times.

Thankfully, with a lot of hard work, some luck, and our government extending a helping hand, my family was able to get by. But, I’ll never forget the challenges we faced. 

Earlier this year, I was so proud to be named the National MS Society Senator of the Year, and I am going to continue to work to be a voice in Congress for those living with this disease and their families.

I strongly believe that Americans living with MS need our full support across the family spectrum as well as affordable access to the best health care in the world.

And I’m going to keep fighting to expand investments in medical research and innovation, so that we can find more effective treatments and hopefully, one day, a cure to this disease.

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Patty Murray, U.S. Senator

U.S. Senator Patty Murray is Washington state’s senior Senator, and is the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. Senator Murray has fought throughout her career for policies that improve the health and wellness of families in Washington state and across the country. Murray serves as a member of the Senate MS Caucus and earlier this year, she was honored as the National MS Society U.S. Senator of the Year.