David Osmond is a member of the American family music group sensation, The Osmonds. I had the pleasure of meeting David at the MS Walk in Phoenix. Today, I attended a listening party webinar where David told his story. I was compelled to share it with all of you.
In 2000, Alan Osmond was to receive the Dorothy Corwin Spirit of Life Award from the National MS Society from his sister Marie who was supposed to do the honor of presenting the award. However, Marie was sick and unable to attend the event, so they turned to Alan’s son, David, to present the award. David was proud to listen to his father deliver the “you can do it” speech that David’s grandfather instilled in all the Osmonds. Little did David know at the time how prophetic those words would become.
Fast forward to Christmas Eve of 2005. David began experiencing crushing pain in the toes. He couldn’t play the guitar and his eye sight was like looking at a static television. The last thing on his mind was MS. He thought that maybe he had hurt himself or pinched a nerve. He spent his time in denial, hiding the onset of his illness from his friends and family.
In an interview with Sherri Snelling, David discusses his diagnosis. “When I originally received the diagnosis, I had tested positive for West Nile Virus but some of the symptoms did not match up so they tested for MS and found I had the relapsing/remitting form of this disease which my doctors believe may have been dormant in my system but was triggered by the virus,” says David. “I was in complete denial – I had grown up watching my dad battle MS and my symptoms were not really the same so I just could not believe it.”
Initially, David was in shock by the diagnosis. He said that pictures of him during the early years of his diagnosis were scarce. He pushed his friends and family away. He thought that he would never be able to accomplish the things in life that he wanted to do, most importantly becoming a dad. As he watched his brother play with his son, he became angry thinking, “why me?”
Then something inside him changed. He was not going to let his illness define him. He hearkened back to that award speech in 2000 and how his dad proclaimed, “I may have MS, but MS does NOT have me.” Even though he was in a wheelchair, he asked his then girlfriend to marry him and she said yes. Reflecting back on his diagnosis he said during the listening party, “MS is one of the best things that has happened to me. It has allowed the opportunity to take advantage of every single moment. I know my disabilities and my abilities.”
David has made the most of life since coming to terms with his diagnosis. He resumed his music career and was featured on American Idol in 2009. He made it Hollywood, but came down with laryngitis and was eliminated from the competition. Then, in 2010, a decade after he had handed his dad the MS Society award, Alan Osmond presented David with the Dorothy Corwin Spirit of Life Award from the National MS Society. Most importantly, today David is the proud father of two daughters.
David wanted to give back to the MS Community, so he did it the only way he knows how – through song. “I Can Do This” is not only a tribute to the words and attitude of his grandfather and father before him, but a message to all of us living with MS to never give up. David ended the listening party by saying, “In this life you are going to have hard times. Today is a good day, but I don’t take a single step for granted. These are the cards I’ve been dealt and I’m going to play it the best I can. You can do it! You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish.”
Truer words have never been spoken.
If you would like to learn more about David and download, “I Can Do This” for free please visit: http://www.ourvoiceinsong.com/
Feature Image from David Osmond’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/DavidOsmondFans (Click pic to like page)