Behavioral health practitioner and sports psychology professor
He completed his master's program
How did you find out you have relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS)?
“I found out I had relapsing MS when the fingertips on my right hand went numb. I was playing catch with a baseball and I started to have difficulties gripping and catching the baseball.”
- Q. How did you react to your relapsing MS diagnosis?
- A. “I was shocked. The way I thought my life would play out was slowly being crumpled up, and I did not know what to do with myself. Everything was unknown.”
- Q. How has your attitude toward relapsing MS changed?
- A. “My attitude towards relapsing MS has changed over the years. Right now, I feel confident in my ability to manage the symptoms of my MS and how it affects my life each day.”
- Q. What would you tell someone who's been recently diagnosed with relapsing MS?
- A. “Relapsing MS is not fun and enjoyable. It will change the way you live your life. However, relapsing MS is something you live with—NOT something that defines you. The 'tornado' of a life will eventually slow down, and this living with MS will become 'normal.' It is important that you have strategies to move forward once things return to 'normal.'”
- Q. Why did you and your doctor choose to start GILENYA®?
- A. “My doctor and I decided that GILENYA would be an appropriate option because it was a once-a-day* pill, not an injection, and it fit my active lifestyle well.”
- Q. Was there a difference between what you anticipated for the First Day on GILENYA and what actually took place?
- A. “Yes. Honestly, I thought that the 6-hour observation meant I had to stay in a hospital bed being observed by nurses the whole time! Instead, I was in a clinic with couches and our own TV with a DVD player. I was allowed visitors, and we could walk around the clinic together.”
- Q. What was your First Day on GILENYA like? What did you do to pass the time (during the 6-hour monitoring of the first dose observation, or FDO)?
- A. “My 6-hour observation was pleasant. It inadvertently carved out 6 hours to enjoy time with my mother and girlfriend. We talked and watched movies all day.”
- Q. What does being a GILENYA Guide mean to you?
- A. “Being a GILENYA Guide is very special. I am able to share my experiences with relapsing MS and GILENYA. I am able to give back to the MS community and help others. I am able to inspire and motivate others through my story.”
- Q. In what ways, if any, has your journey with MS had a positive impact on your life?
- A. “Relapsing MS has provided so much positivity in my life. I have found a passion in working with, teaching, and coaching children and adults. It has given me the perspective to know that while I may not be able to do one thing, I can still do other things.”
- Q. Have you found new ways to stay active now that you're living with relapsing MS?
- A. “I have always been an active person, and I have tried to not let relapsing MS get in the way of my active lifestyle. I stay active by doing exercises, activities, and sports that cater to my MS and give me the ability to move at my own pace and intensity. I have also started to play volleyball and golf. These sports allow me to stay competitive but not be as physically draining.”