The Indiana University School of Medicine-Fort Wayne has launched a Multiple Sclerosis research fund. The school says the effort, funded by a $500,000 estate gift from Fort Wayne resident Florabelle Yoder, will support research on potential treatments for the disorder.

October 1, 2013

News Release

Fort Wayne, Ind.—The IU School of Medicine–Fort Wayne announced the creation of the Anna Yoder MS Fund to benefit research, education, and outreach services for individuals and their communities affected by multiple sclerosis. The fund was established with a $500,000 estate gift from Fort Wayne resident Florabelle Yoder as a memorial to her granddaughter, Anna Yoder, who lived with the challenges associated with her mother, Peggy's Yoder's battle with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Peggy, Florabelle's daughter, was diagnosed just prior to Anna’s birth.

“This gift not only provides opportunities for us to pursue innovative research, procedures, and treatments, it gives new hope to the more than 7,000 people living with MS in our community,” said Dr. Fen-Lei Chang, associate dean and director of the IU School of Medicine–Fort Wayne.

“This generous gift will advance MS research taking place every day in northeast Indiana, research many people are unaware of,” said Jennifer Boen, who has been appointed director of the Anna Yoder MS Fund. An advisory committee comprised of medical providers, individuals with MS from northeast Indiana, and others with vested interest is in the process of strategically planning how the funds will be used to have the greatest impact.

“Florabelle Yoder knew firsthand the challenges faced by family and friends of those who are living with this neurological disorder. Her desire was to have a broad and lasting impact on them,” Boen said. “There is no one-size-fits-all to describe how MS affects individuals. Thus we welcome input from others to help us identify the needs.”

Individuals with MS and their caregivers are encouraged to contact the Anna Yoder MS Fund by email, phone, or Facebook. For contact information, click on the Anna Yoder MS Fund link on the home page of the IU School of Medicine-Fort Wayne’s website. You can email Boen at or call 481-0577.

“We hope this fund sets the stage for others in the community to come forward to support the important efforts of the IU School of Medicine in Fort Wayne,” said Maureen Hillary, Florabelle’s personal representative. “We see no better way to celebrate the lives of Anna and her family than to continue their fight against MS.”

The gift is invested and managed by the Indiana University Foundation. Founded in 1936, the Indiana University Foundation maximizes private support for Indiana University by fostering lifelong relationships with key stakeholders and providing advancement leadership and fundraising services for campuses and units across the university.

Source: Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

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