LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — An internationally known muralist Thursday transformed an area in downtown Los Angeles to raise awareness for those affected by multiple sclerosis.

Lydia Emily, who was diagnosed with MS in 2012, acts as an advocate for early detection and treatment of the neurological disease.

Emily painted the mural along the northeast corner of Seventh and Mateo streets, with the help of 100 members of the MS community.

She has to walk with a cane and, at times, uses shoe laces to adhere the paint brush to her hand and hold it steady.

(credit: CBS/Stephanie Simmons)

(credit: CBS/Stephanie Simmons)

“Art can do more than hang,” explained Emily. “It can help.”

Those who attended the event were encouraged to participate in the creation of the mural in order to put their own touch toward raising awareness.

Health officials explained MS is a chronic, unpredictable disease that affects the central nervous system, and often prevents people from moving.

Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis.

About 2.3 million people worldwide have been affected by the disease.

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