Society honors Votruba with Silver Hope Award

The Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society honored President James Votruba with the Silver Hope Award Nov. 2 at the Dinner of Champions held at the Cincinnati Hilton. His daughter, Emily, presented the award at the dinner.

Votruba said that the award was very personal to him because his daughter suffers from MS.

The Silver Hope Award is the society’s highest tribute. Votruba is the first person from Northern Kentucky to be honored with this award.

Votruba said he is very honored to receive this award.

“In so many respects, I believe it reflects not only my commitment, but the commitment of our campus to advancing the lives of our students and our community.”

MS is a chronic unpredictable disease of the Central Nervous System. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 through 50. MS affects more than 400,000 people in the United States and 2.5 million worldwide, according to Just the Facts 2006-2007, a brochure of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“(I was) diagnosed six years ago with the relapse and remitting type of MS. I am coping well,” Emily Votruba said. “No parent wants to hear their kid is sick, hurt or suffering. My attitude gives my dad permission to deal with MS the way I do. He doesn’t have to treat me differently.”

Through a collaborative effort, the committee came up with a nominee for outstanding leadership and community work.

The award is not specifically connected with MS, said Wendy Hacker, director of communication for the National MS Society of the Ohio Valley Chapter.

Votruba co-chaired Vision 2015, a Northern Kentucky regional initiative to broaden postsecondary education access for urban districts.

Votruba was recognized for his significant contribution to the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati communities in respect to Vision 2015.