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Illinois Lottery Launches Instant Ticket To Help Find Multiple Sclerosis Cure

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Illinois Lottery has announced the latest version of a scratch-off game to benefit researchers seeking a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.

"Go out and buy a ticket and let's cure MS," said the state's Public Health Director, Dr. Nirav Shah at the kickoff event for the "MS Project" instant game at UIC. WBBM's Mike Krauser reports.

"In recent years, there are promising new hopes on the horizon,Dr. Shah said. "The tide is very clearly turning with respect to MS therapies and that makes the research that this ticket supports all the more important right now."

Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, who has lived with MS for 10 years, said she was diagnosed after a fall on ice and calls herself an MS warrior.

"My husband told me that I better get busy living or get busy dying," Sanguinetti said. "I chose to live and I chose to fight."

She urged people to support the cause and said she firmly believes there will be a cure in her lifetime.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disabling neurological disease that disrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body. More than 20,000 people are living with MS in Illinois, according to the Illinois Lottery MS Project website. People with MS fight symptoms like fatigue, walking difficulties, blurred vision, dizziness and vertigo, numbness, weakness and many more. Women are two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with MS than men are.

Illinois Lottery Director Greg Smith said 100 percent of the proceeds from the instant scratch ticket funds research. The Illinois Lottery has raised more than $8 million for MS research so far with the instant ticket.

Doctor Douglas Feinstein has been working on MS research at the University of Illinois at Chicago for 20 years.

"It's getting more and more difficult to obtain research funding and this is another opportunity," Dr. Feinstein said.

He too said there are promising therapies that are being worked on at UIC and elsewhere.

The ticket can be purchased for $3 where Illinois Lottery instant scratch-off tickets are sold. Ticket buyers could win up to $50,000.

The Illinois Lottery also helps other causes with instant tickets, such as breast cancer with the 'Ticket for the Cure,' Special Olympics with the 'Special Olympics Ticket,' and HIV/AIDS prevention with the 'Red Ribbon Cash' ticket.

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