By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We’ve all heard of multiple sclerosis, but what’s it like to have the disease?

In order to educate the public about this dreaded disease, folks from the Multiple Sclerosis Society were illustrating its symptoms through simulations today at a center city hotel.

Anne Schmid (at right in photo below) has had multiple sclerosis for over 30 years now, but she thinks others wouldn’t necessarily know it at first glance.

“Especially with me, they look at me and they think, ‘You’re not in a wheelchair.’  But I do have a lot of problems.”

ms patanne  hadas During MS Awareness Week, Philadelphians Get an Inside Peek at the Disease

(Pat Thieringer and Anne Schmid. Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

That’s why Schmid and others from the National MS Society are trying to spread awareness about the disease this week, which is National MS Awareness Week.

“The thing that’s really frustrating about MS is that my symptoms are not the same as somebody else’s symptoms,” Schmid tells KYW Newsradio.  “It interferes with the nerves in your body.  If the nerves to my arm are bad, then I won’t be able to use my hand.  If the nerves to my feet (are affected), then I won’t be able to walk.”

Community outreach manager Pat Thieringer says they’re teaching the public about MS symptoms through various simulations:

“We have a scuba fin, and that demonstrates a symptom called ‘drop foot,’ where the front of your foot does not clear when you’re walking.”

Another demonstration involves having a person put a lunch together or get dressed while wearing gardening gloves.

Schmid says MS affects more than 400,000 people in the United States alone.

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