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M.S. Society Boots 90-Year-Old Volunteer for Not Understanding 'Preferred Pronouns'

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The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is standing by its decision to oust a 90-year-old volunteer because she “did not understand pronouns.”

“Recently, a volunteer, Fran Itkoff, was asked to step away from her role because of statements that were viewed as not aligning with our policy of inclusion,” the nonprofit explained in a statement. “Fran has been a valued member of our volunteer team for more than 60 years.”

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It continued, “We believe that our staff acted with the best of intentions and did their best to navigate a challenging issue. As an organization, we are in a continued conversation about assuring that our diversity, equity, and inclusion policies evolve in service of our mission, and will reach out to Fran in service of this goal.”

Itkoff dedicated six decades of her life to helping the MS Society because her late husband suffered from multiple sclerosis, according to The National Desk.

The problem arose when the now-elderly volunteer admitted she did not understand why people were listing their “preferred pronouns” on correspondence for the nonprofit and asked someone at the organization what it meant.

After repeatedly seeing pronouns listed alongside names in letters, Itkoff said, “Finally, I was talking to [an MS Society representative] and thought I would ask, ‘What does it mean?’ and let her tell me. She said that it meant ‘they were all-inclusive,’ which didn’t make sense to me.”

In a follow-up response to her inquiry, Itkoff said she received “an email from [a representative] saying that they were sorry but had to ask me to step down as a volunteer for the MS Society.”

The woman’s case went viral after Libs of TikTok posted an interview with Itkoff.

The MS Society’s X account has been inundated with responses from people who are very disturbed by the nonprofit’s decision to forbid the nonagenarian from freely volunteering her time and talents.

“I’ve had MS for 10 years, and I am grateful for people like Fran, who has volunteered for 60 years to help end MS in our time,” wrote entrepreneur Spike Cohen. “Why did you ask a 90-year-old volunteer, who has helped with events and fundraising to cure our disease for decades, to stop helping us?”

Since the story went viral, the MS Society has stood by its choice to end its relationship with Itkoff. However, the group did say it plans to “reach out” to Fran, but it’s unclear whether she will be invited back to volunteer.

***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***

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About The Author

Tré Goins-Phillips Headshot

Tré Goins-Phillips serves as a host and content creator for CBN News. He hosts the weekly “Faith vs. Culture” show and co-hosts “Quick Start,” a news podcast released every weekday morning. Born and raised in Virginia, Tré now lives along the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he has built his career, often traveling to meet and interview fascinating cultural influencers and entertainers. After working with brands like TheBlaze and Independent Journal Review, Tré began his career at CBN News in 2018 and has a particular passion for bridging the chasm between the secular world and the church