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Celgene, Multiple Sclerosis Association Of America To Launch Wheelchair Accessible Hot Air Balloon At Festival

July 12, 2019

READINGTON, NJ — Celgene Corporation and the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) are bringing the MS MindShift: A New View of MS initiative to the 37th annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Association with PNC Bank, where the MS MindShift “Brain Bulb” wheelchair accessible hot air balloon will offer tethered lifts to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis (MS) and the importance of brain health.
The 75-foot-tall, 120,000 cubic-foot MS MindShift Brain Bulb wheelchair accessible hot air balloon will be featured at the Festival as a way to literally elevate the importance of having a “brain first” perspective in MS. Just as keeping a balloon in good condition keeps it soaring above the ground, shifting focus up toward the brain today could help change how people living with MS live with the disease tomorrow.
The annual three-day event is the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America and is a showcase for new balloons and community outreach. This year’s Festival launches July 26-27-28, 2019 at Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ. 
MS is a chronic and often debilitating disease that affects nearly 1 million people in the U.S. In MS, the immune system attacks the central nervous system — which includes the spinal cord and brain. Localized injury to the brain produces “lesions” which disrupt the flow of information from the brain to the body which may lead to symptoms and relapses.
MS MindShift is a national initiative that provides a new perspective on MS and was launched in May ahead of World MS Day. The initiative aims to educate about the critical role the brain plays in the disease and what people living with MS can do to keep their brain as healthy as possible, for as long as possible.
The balloon will offer tethered lifts for the first time at the festival.
“We continue to strive to meet the needs of all of our attendees and we’re thrilled to expand the horizons and opportunities for more and more people with disabilities to experience our Love at First Flight and the magic of ballooning,” said Festival Executive Producer Howard Freeman. 
Festival attendees will be able to take tethered rides in the MS Mindshift Brain Bulb balloon throughout the festival weekend. The wheelchair accessible basket can accommodate the balloon pilot, one wheelchair passenger and one additional rider.
To learn more about the festival or to purchase tickets visit www.balloonfestival.com. 
People with MS and those who support them can learn more about the campaign at MSMindShift.com, and join the online community on Facebook.
Celgene Corporation, headquartered in Summit, NJ, is an integrated global biopharmaceutical company engaged primarily in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases through next-generation solutions in protein homeostasis, immuno-oncology, epigenetics, immunology and neuro-inflammation. For more information, please visit www.celgene.com. 
Russ Mensch MS MindShift
Mensch & Company, Inc. Catherine Cantone
Public Relations                                  Event Marketing Celgene
201-797-2448 908-897-4256
[email protected] [email protected] 
© 2019 Celgene Corporation 07/19 US-CLG-19-1045