Paralympian gold medallist, Kadeena Cox OBE, is guest speaker at inaugural MS awards

Paralympian Gold Medallist, Kadeena Cox

Introducing the MS Brain Health Awards hosted by Oxford Health Policy Forum

Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox OBE is to appear at the inaugural MS Brain Health Awards later this month.

The international awards, being held virtually on Thursday 26 May, will acknowledge and showcase the work of organizations and healthcare professionals who work towards better research, care and understanding of multiple sclerosis (MS), especially in maximizing brain health throughout life to improve outcomes for those living with MS.

The event has been organized and created by Oxford Health Policy Forum – a community interest company set up 6 years ago to bring together medical, academic and policy experts to drive change in healthcare policy both nationally in the UK and internationally.

Prof. Gavin Giovannoni is an eminent neurologist and a member of the judging panel for the awards. He said, “The awards will recognize those who are achieving better outcomes for people with MS by diagnosing and treating early and holistically. They will showcase those who are raising awareness that time matters and working to improve the brain health of people with MS.”

The awards cover five categories, including innovation and patient advocacy, and the aim is to recognize reward clinics, research bodies and individuals for significant work in the field of MS.

“We’re so thrilled that these awards will showcase the amazing work that’s being carried out as well as the huge impact that policy change can have on MS care,” said Dr Emma Georgiou, Executive Director of Oxford Health Policy Forum, which runs the Brain Health: time matters in multiple sclerosis campaign.

“Having Kadeena at the event will help to raise awareness of the work that still needs to be done, and how achievements so far are changing the picture globally for those living with MS.”

Oxford Health Policy Forum published a groundbreaking report, Brain Health: time matters in multiple sclerosis, in 2015 that has led to huge progress in developing global health policy for the treatment and management of MS.

Kadeena Cox, who was flag-bearer at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, began her sporting career at the age of 15 and was a highly successful sprinter with dreams of the Olympics before she experienced the symptoms of a stroke at the age of 23.

After months of recovery, the symptoms recurred, and it was at this point that MS was diagnosed. Kadeena went on to compete in the Paralympics and became the first person in 32 years to win gold in two different sports, having taken medals in both athletics and cycling at the games in Rio.

“I’m honoured to be asked to be a part of the inaugural MS Brain Health Awards and I’m excited to celebrate the work and achievements of people across the world working hard to help us better understand MS and better support people living with it,” she says. “This is all about showing that “we rule MS, MS doesn’t rule us”, a motto that motivates me every day to achieve more on my own journey.”

Kadeena will be in conversation Prof. Giovannoni, who is an expert in the field of MS research and Chair of the MS Brain Health Initiative. It was he who pioneered the 2015 Brain Health: time matters in multiple sclerosis report.

Around 130 people are diagnosed with MS each week in the UK and it’s estimated that, globally, 2.5 million people are living with the condition in which the body’s own immune system destroys nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

Those wishing to attend can register online and can submit questions for Kadeena prior to the event. To find out more and to register, please visit the MS Brain Health website.