Soul Device

Philanthropic blog

Tony Bloom on Raising Awareness for Multiple Sclerosis

March 25th, 2016

Linda-Bloom-MSAround fifteen years ago, Tony Bloom, famous businessman, wealthy investor and chairman to the Brighton and Hove Albion F.C., received a blow to the stomach. Figuratively, that is.

Married to Australian born psychologist Linda who happens to have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Tony recalls the process to be painful emotionally and physically.

Multiple Sclerosis or MS is a chronic, unpredictable and often progressive disease that comes in the form of relapses that affects the central nervous system. It attacks and destroys tissues in the brain and spinal cord. To be specific, it comes as a misdirected attack from the immune system that targets the white, fatty material that coats nerve fibers called the myelin. Myelin is important as it insulates and speeds the transmission of nerve signals relaying information into, within, and out of the brain and spinal cord. When damaged or destroyed, the flow of the said signals results to a variety of neurological problems including numbness, blindness and paralysis.

What’s interesting and also alarming about MS is the fact that it has no known cause or definite cure. Its symptoms are different for each patient and vary in severity and duration. Some of these symptoms include tingling, numbness, weakness, balance and vision problems, tremors, fatigue, lack of coordination, spasticity, slurred speech, bowel or bladder problems, troubles with memory or reasoning, depression and partial or complete paralysis among others.

Although Multiple Sclerosis has a number of symptoms that create severe disability and discomfort, it does not exactly shorten a person’s life span. However, the symptoms over time can result to other complications.

In Linda Bloom’s case, Tony remembers her first months to be so awful that she could barely move her limbs. Getting up from a couch seemed impossible and lifting a pen was too herculean an effort. At present and with the help of proper diet, adequate exercise, self-hypnosis, meditation yoga, and a lifestyle geared towards health and optimism, she has gotten her condition in control and is doing better.

It is for the same reason why Linda and Tony Bloom set up the OMSF which stood for “Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Foundation” together with fellow trustees Joe Murray, Marc Sugarman and Marcelle Lester. It is a charity geared towards helping patients afflicted with MS make better informed decisions and improve the state they are in.

In a bid to raise awareness and funds for the cause and the OMSF, Tony Bloom has run two Brighton Marathons, one in 2011 and the other in 2015.

Facts About Philanthropy and Charitable Works That Might Surprise You

February 3rd, 2016

Giving is considered a noble act and we see no reason why not. Help no matter how big or small is a huge thing and only further solidifies that there is still faith in humanity. Philanthropy and charitable works abound and everyone is welcome to partake in it. One doesn’t have to be rich in order to give. Even the smallest of gestures and the pledge of volunteerism is a blessing on their own.

Today, we’ll share a few fun facts and trivia about philanthropy that you may not know of yet. Hey, it pays to fill our heads with information no matter how random. Ready? Here we go!

  • The top three most generous countries are Australia, Ireland and Canada in that order. More than two thirds of Australia’s population is said to help a stranger in need or donate to certain causes or charities, a third of the populace on the other hand volunteers.
  • According to statistics, women are more likely to donate money to a stranger or a charity while men on the other hand are most likely to volunteer instead.
  • The most preferred philanthropic activity all over the world is related to health followed by environment and education.
  • Some countries allow tax deductions for charitable donations. The United States of America is one of them.
  • J.K. Rowling achieved billionaire status and became the first ever female billionaire novelist for her Harry Potter books but she was eventually booted off the said list after donating so much to charity. Not a bad way to drop from billions to millions right?
  • nick lesoufNick Le Souef, an Australian, once locked himself behind a glass store window together with three hundred poisonous spiders for three weeks in order to raise money and awareness for Variety,a children’s charity.
  • You’d be surprised to know that 22% of the total donations accumulated in the whole world are done during t
    he 30th and 31st of December, the last two days of the year.
  • Technology and social media has become very powerful tools in raising both awareness and funds for charity. Crowdfunding is by far one of the most commonly used methods. In terms of social media sites, Facebook is the most powerful.
  • In the United Kingdom alone, there are about 160,000 charities with a combined income from voluntary pledges, donations and investments of about £39 billion a year.