Healthy Living

Canadian Olympian to Help Support Battle Against Multiple Sclerosis

Canadian Olympian to Help Support Battle Against Multiple Sclerosis

Image source: CNW Group/A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.

Christine Sinclair, the captain of the Canadian women's soccer teams, helped her teams win Olympic bronze medals on two separate occasions. Now, she is helping A&W Burgers battle against multiple sclerosis (MS).

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada stated publicly that Sinclair is planning on visiting several A&W restaurants throughout Canada on August 23 and August 24. Sinclair and A&W hope to raise money and awareness for the fight against MS.

Sinclair’s family history with MS

Sinclair felt driven to join the fight against MS because of her own mother's fight against the disease. Sinclair's mother, Sandi, was an integral part of her interest in soccer when she coached her teams as a child. Including Sandi, there are over 100,000 cases of MS in Canada, making Canada the country with the highest number of MS patients on the planet.

By becoming an advocate of the MS cause, Sinclair hopes to help "educate the public" and support the efforts in finding a cure, as stated in a press release. Sinclair wants to ease the suffering of MS patients worldwide and prevent other people from having to face the trials and tribulations that the disease has brought upon her own family. Sandi still has to deal with the difficulties that MS presents her on a daily basis, making daily activities difficult and painful.

Over the past several years Sinclair has had to watch her once vibrant and athletic mother lose her mobility and control of her own body day after day, until she eventually became so disabled that she was forced to rely upon a life in a wheelchair. Sandi's MS is so severe and advanced that she now must reside inside of a long-term care nursing and rehabilitation center, with little hope for recovery.

The chair of the MS Society of Canada's board of directors, Valerie Hussey, announced their joy and excitement with partnering with A&W every year in their fight against MS. Hussey said that they are all thrilled that Sinclair, a publicly adored icon in Canada, has decided to join their fight in raising funds and awareness for MS by sharing her family's very personal story of MS.

A&W has affectionately named the project, "Burgers to Beat MS," and is now its 9th year of operation. Over the past nine years, Burgers to Beat MS has raised almost $10 million for the MS cause, making it Canada's largest yearly fundraising activity that directly benefits the MS Society of Canada.

More about “Burgers to Beat MS”

From the week of July 21 on, nearly 900 of the A&W restaurants throughout Canada will work relentlessly to help the MS Society of Canada raise funds and awareness for MS. Customers who order food at A&W will have the option to donate their bills up at the register, to purchase donation tickets of $1, $2, or $5, or by donating change into the donation mugs at the register. Others who wish to offer donations without dining in the restaurants or from outside of Canada will also have the opportunity to donate money online at (

Paul Hollands, the chief executive officer and chairman of A&W Canada stated that their goal for the year 2017 is to raise at least $2 million. Hollands said that they are overjoyed to have Sinclair, a proven and beloved champion of Canada, helping the cause by joining in the crucial campaign. Hollands and Hussey are confident that with Sinclair's help, they will be able to meet, and possibly surpass, their goal for 2017.

Hollands said that the Burgers to Beat MS program began 9 years ago with just a small number of A&W operators who wanted to help the cause by making their own difference. Every year, the Burgers to Beat MS project has grown until now over 900 locations work together to make a real difference in helping MS patients and family members who are affected by the horrendous disease.

The campaign will run until its final day, Thursday, August 24. On the day of the campaign's grand finale, ever restaurant involved will double each and every donation that supporters make on the sales of Teen Burgers. Therefore, if a customer wishes to donate $1 from the sale of the Teen Burger, the donation will increase to $2.

With the help of each participating A&W restaurant, Sinclair, and thousands of generous donors, A&W and the MS Society of Canada believe that they can break the previous years' contribution totals.

The decision to double the donations made on the purchase of Teen Burgers is being run this year for the first time and Hussey says that the funds raised will be able to make incredible contributions in the support of crucial research projects and clinical trials that will help to improve the lives of MS patients in Canada, as well as around the globe.

Facts about MS

  • MS is the result of damage to myelin, a protective sheath that surrounds the nerve fibers in the central nervous system. When the myelin is damaged, there are complications in the messages that the brain sends and receives to and from other parts of the body.
  • MS affects women three times more often than men.
  • 1 out of every 340 Canadians have MS.
  • An estimated 100,000 Canadians live with MS.
  • Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world.
  • MS is most commonly diagnosed in young adults, with the average age being around 30.
  • MS affects more young people than any other acquired chronic neurological disorder.
  • There is currently no cure for MS and the cause is not entirely understood.


Henriques, C. (2017, July 21). Canadian Soccer Star Christine Sinclair Teaming Up with A&W Restaurants to Battle Multiple Sclerosis. [Web]. In Multiple Sclerosis Today. Retrieved from: