“Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops… at all.”
- Emily Dickinson

MS Hope for a Cure’s mission is to raise money to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis and to support those individuals and their families living with MS until a cure is found.


Within that mission statement is a very simple, yet powerful, concept: HOPE.  

In the face of adversity, individuals living with MS, and the networks of families and friends that support them, can achieve great things, realize great dreams, and work for a cure. On this page, we've added some quotes that give us hope, so we in turn can keep giving hope to others.

Hope is the dream
of the soul awake.
— Matthew Prior


MS Hope focuses its efforts on the following three goals:

  • To leverage the National MS Society’s vast knowledge and resources by funding research that has been through the Society’s vigorous due diligence process and approved.
  • To support individuals with MS living in underserved communities by providing salary support for Social Workers at local MS Care Centers.
  • To spread awareness of MS and to educate others about the disease and what they can do to help find a cure.
Once you choose hope,
anything’s possible.
— Christopher Reeve


MS Hope for a Cure was founded by Elissa (EJ) Levy in 2007.

Prior to 2007, EJ had been a top fundraiser for the NYC-Southern NY Chapter of the National MS Society. After being diagnosed with MS in 2002, EJ started her own Walk MS Team and over the next 5 years she helped raise over half a million dollars for the Chapter.

At that time, EJ felt that she could do more to help people living with MS by creating a new not-for-profit organization, MS Hope for a Cure. EJ still works closely with the MS Society.  She believes strongly that the Society has the best process for vetting potential research projects and therefore all of the money MS Hope raises for research is given through the Society and directed towards research projects that the Board feels have the most potential to improve the lives of people living with the progressive form of the disease.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.


Since its inception, MS Hope for a Cure has raised over $11.5 million dollars. In turn, the organization has funded 151 grants for critical research and programs to help people living with MS.

I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.
— Dalai Lama

MS Hope for a Cure Board of Directors

Click any thumbnail to view the full biography

Eden Lopez-Robles
EJ Levy
Andrea Arzt, LCSW
Josh Dorf
Jane Greene
Stephen Krieger, MD
Catherine "Cat" McKenzie
Stacy Pollack
Claire S. Riley, MD
Lisa C. Risi
David S. Schafran
Joel D. Siegel

Over the years, MS Hope for a Cure has hosted numerous fun and educational events.

We are always seeking innovative and fun ways to raise money for MS and to involve different people in our fight against MS. Some past events that we have held are:

MS Friends for a Cure

Cat McKenzie, an MS Hope Board member and friend of EJs, along with other regular’s from Blondie’s on the Upper West Side, started this fun bar night with celebrity guest bartenders from WABC-TV. There was karaoke, raffles, a great silent auction, and charity poker. This wonderful event ran for 10 years and raised over $111,000!

MS Spike for a Cure

In 2013, a group of EJ's friends wanted to help raise money to support her in her fight against MS. They organized a volleyball tournament in Central Park, which raised over $30,000 in one day!

MS Oscar Picks for a Cure

Starting in 2013, MS Hope ran an Oscar Pool to raise money for MS Hope. People who entered the pool made a donation of $25 per entry. Winners won movie related prizes, including a first place prize of tickets to the MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles.

MS Kick for a Cure

Tim Divers, who was a starting kicker and punter for Lehigh University’s football team, raised $5,000 through donations tied to his kicking performance, in honor of his aunt.

MS Cut for a Cure

Xena, the owner of a hair salon in NYC, and her staff, dedicated proceeds from a day of hair cutting to MS Hope for a Cure. In one day, they raised over $5,000 for MS Hope!