Athletes with MS

When my Aunt Loretta was diagnosed with MS in the early 1970’s, Multiple Sclerosis was thought to be the wheel chair disease. In fact, my only memories of my Aunt Loretta were that she was in a wheelchair and could only mumble and moan.

When I was lying in my hospital bed with an acute onset of Transverse Myelitis and unable to walk, I remembered my Aunt Loretta and thought that I would share her fate. The whispers from my family at the bottom of my bed confirmed my thoughts that my condition looked far to similar to Loretta’s.

Fast forward eight years later and I am still doing the things that I love. I regained my ability to walk and can walk without the aid of a cane. I walk my dog twice a day, play with my kids and even run around and coach my oldest son’s baseball team.

A lot of this is my will and determination to not let MS beat me. The other part of the equation is that MS research and treatments have experienced major breakthroughs since the 1970’s. When I look around the MS community, I now see professional athletes thriving despite the diagnosis of MS.

Check out these stories:

Demitrius Omphroy is the first MLS player with MS: http://www.dailycal.org/2012/08/05/manifest-destiny/

Chris Wright is the first NBA player with MS: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/mavericks-sign-pg-chris-wright-become-first-nba-171738806–nba.html

Josh Harding is playing in the NHL with MS: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/30/sports/hockey/wild-goalie-treated-for-multiple-sclerosis.html

These are just three people that went on to become professional athletes despite a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Each of their stories is inspiring in that they did not let this devastating disease deter them from their dreams.

However, there are many people that I have met during my journey with MS that stay active and participate in some kind of exercise or sporting activity. These are everyday heroes that are winning the battle against MS and you can too.

I challenge you to be active and get out there and play! Don’t let MS be the crutch to keep you inside. Use your MS as motivation to get out there and do something special!!!

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3 Comments

  1. Craig

    Thanks for sharing those stories Matt! They give people HOPE! MS has tried to ravage my entire body – but I’m not allowing that to stop me from Cranking my handcycle whenever I can! It takes a power chair, lift chair and neighbors to get me on and off my machine, but that hasn’t stopped me from Cranking over 12,000 miles in 4 1/2 years! NEVER give up the FIGHT!

    Crank On!

    Craig

  2. Vicki

    So sorry you have multiple sclerosis but appreciate how the prognosis of MS has changed within the last 30 years. We have witnessed amazing things testifying to the hope NEVER GIVE UP!! Not that those of those who went before us gave up, but there are all kinds of treatments a new understandings providing a new path for us to follow. Thank you for sharing your story. When I was diagnosed, my parents thought I would most likely die very soon since the only one they knew who had MS became incapacitated very quickly and died from a kidney infection. They were looking for nursing homes for me!! What a difference and God bless you dear one for sharing your story!!!

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