BRIGHT IDEA: Sporting orange at the end of the month is going to raise much-needed funds for the KwaZulu-Natal branch of the Multiple Sclerosis SA. From left: Nonhlanhla Dube, of the Siyamukela Youth Organisation, which made the ribbons, volunteer Peter Watson and Vasan Pillay, the branch publicist.

Wear orange at the end of the month and show your support for sufferers of the debilitating condition multiple sclerosis.

That is what the KwaZulu-Natal branch of the MS Society of SA wants people to do on May 30 as it raises funds on World Multiple Sclerosis Day.

The funds are needed to convert a minibus for wheelchair use, so that sufferers can go on trips and do their shopping.

“Many sufferers are bed-ridden and homebound and have no means to improve the quality of their lives,” said volunteer Peter Watson.

“It is our vision to create a haven for sufferers, where we would be able to give professional and sustainable care and comfort for our people, many of whom are dependent upon elderly parents.”

The small non-profit organisation has its eye on a piece of land and is hoping to get a grant to pay for the haven.

The branch has 100 members, but Watson believes there could be as many as 1 500 people in the province with MS, a chronic degenerative disease for which there is no known cause or cure. Medication could help moderate the effects of the disease, but the cost was about R14 000 a month for each patient and the benefits were subject to stringent medical aid approval, he said.

“The disease does not necessarily shorten the patient’s life but can ultimately render the patient dependent on others for normal daily functions.”

Now he wants people to sport a splash of orange on May 30, either by wearing the special ribbons that have been made by members of the Siyamukela Youth Organisation near Inanda Dam, or by wearing orange lipstick, an orange shirt or blouse, socks, trousers “or wherever their creative instincts take them”.

The ribbons are R5 each. To get one, e-mail Watson at [email protected] or call 031 764 2389.

He is hoping that caring supporters donate R10 for anything else orange that they wear on the day. - Daily News