LYNN CARDER of Woodbine, who runs a...


LYNN CARDER of Woodbine, who runs a self-help group for people coping with multiple sclerosis. Ms. Carder, who was diagnosed with the disease in 1971, has been facilitator of the group for three years.

The Tri-County Branch of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which serves Carroll, Frederick and Howard counties, named her its Branch Volunteer of the Year for her work with the group and her role as co-chairwoman of the Carroll County Golf Tournament.

Under Ms. Carder's guidance, the self-help group has grown from three attendees to about 30.

Organization's comments: "She's organized and she's very genuine," said Jacqueline Stem, Tri-County Branch coordinator. "And she's a very good listener."

Ms. Stem added that Ms. Carder can often cheer people who are feeling sad because she has a gift for introducing a little levity into a bad situation.

Volunteer's comments: "You need all the support you can get" iyou have MS, said Ms. Carder, and you need to know you're not alone.

Every case is different, she said, and there are unpredictablups and downs. "That's what's so scary about this," she said.

She said it helps the group to have a facilitator who has Mherself.

"Even the doctors don't know what we're feeling inside," MsCarder said, but she can empathize with the group members and say, "Hey, I have those feelings. I have those symptoms."

Ms. Carder, who uses an electric wheelchair, said the group'biggest problem is transportation.

Background: Ms. Carder is married to Gerry Carder, who is othe council of the Tri-County Branch. The couple have a 20-year-old son, Scott, who attends Western Maryland College.

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