90-Year-Old Volunteer For MS Society Told To ‘Step Down’ Because She ‘Did Not Understand Pronouns’
pronoun dice
Jena Ardell via Getty Images

An elderly volunteer for the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society was told to step down from her position because she “did not understand pronouns,” according to an interview with Chaya Raichik of Libs of TikTok.

Fran Itkoff, 90, said she had been volunteering for the organization in her home state of California for about six decades before she was told to stop. She said she received multiple awards over that time and was generally commended for her hard work and dedication, but her failure to “abide by [the MS Society’s] Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion guidelines” resulted in her dismissal.

Itkoff said she initially didn’t understand what she was being asked to do. “I was confused. I didn’t know what it was and what it meant,” the former volunteer told Raichik of being asked to incorporate pronouns into her email signature. 

A fellow colleague had requested she use her pronouns, but Itkoff was confused.

“I had seen it on a couple of letters that had come in after the person’s name. But I didn’t know what that meant,” the CA resident continued. “So when I finally talked to her, I asked what does it mean… And she said that it meant they were all-inclusive, which didn’t make sense to me. Because it sounds like you are labeling for females, not males, if you are just putting in she/her.”

Itkoff was reportedly instructed to “step down” several days later via email. The reason for her dismissal was noted as a failure to comply with stated DEI initiatives.

“Unfortunately, based on the situation, we have made the difficult decision to have you step down from your volunteer position, effective immediately,” the email reads. 

“I was completely shocked,” she said of being dismissed after 60 years of service. “I couldn’t believe that … I had to read it a couple of times to see if I’m getting what she said.”


Itkoff volunteered in part because her husband had MS, a degenerative disease impacting the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. He ran the Long Beach Lakewood MS support group before his death 20 years ago, she told Libs of TikTok.

Itkoff’s daughter, Elle Hamilton, was also disappointed to see her mother banished from her longtime volunteer position. “To me, it’s ironic, because they are saying they are inclusive, but they are excluding a 90-year-old disabled woman who has volunteered for 60 years,” she said. 

“And literally the sole purpose was to help the MS patients and find a cure. … That’s literally all she does,” Hamilton continued.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  90-Year-Old Volunteer For MS Society Told To ‘Step Down’ Because She ‘Did Not Understand Pronouns’