When were you diagnosed with MS? October 2002
What type of MS do you have? Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS)
#1: Can you tell us a little about your journey with MS. How did you feel about your initial diagnosis and how it has affected your life?
At first, I was skeptical about the diagnosis. Especially since there was no prior occurrence of it in my family. However, even after seeking second and third opinions from two different medical centers and consulting with two other neurologists, the diagnosis remained the same.
#2: What MS symptoms do you have and how do you manage them on a daily basis?
At the present, the only symptom I have now is numbness in my left hand, and it's barely noticeable.
#3: Who/What has been your most important support system?
My most important sources of support are my wife, longtime friends, and the awesome MS Center at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. The Center generously allows me to utilize one of their rooms and provides parking spaces for the free "Get Back Your Music (GBYM)" one-on-one group neuroplasticity-invoking, jam sessions that I conduct. Through these sessions, musicians with neurological impairments are able to regain lost musical dexterity.
#4: Do you use any accessories like canes, walkers, or wheelchairs to manage daily activities?
#5: How do you stay positive and motivated in your daily life? What do you do for self-care?
My belief in the potential of Neuroplasticity, an inherent capability in all human beings, keeps me optimistic. Witnessing it at work, improving the muscle dexterity and the quality of life in muscians keeps me motivated to keep the GBYM jam sessions going. I engage in self-care by playing musical instruments, as well as participating in activities that involve brain exercises such as puzzles, and maintaining an active lifestyle.
Watch the video below. It's a comprehensive video interview that shares my whole story, I also shared it with 220 clinical representatives from 60 different countries during a Worldwide MS Meeting held in Stockholm in 2019. The 28-minute video also features a clip from on of our GBYM sessions. You can access it via this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0DdqSUzuiA.
#6: Your story and experiences with MS are incredibly valuable and can provide encouragement and motivation to others in the community. What words of advice or encouragement would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed with MS or going through a challenging time right now?
When it comes to a neuro (nerve) ailment or a diease that compromises one's motor function in your limbs, and in my case, my left hand. I advise not giving up on your passions. Whether that passion was playing an instrument, skiing, tennis, jogging, walking, or whatever. If MS took that from you, take it back by relentlessly not giving up. Throw willpower, persistence, and repetition at it and your brain will eventually reroute/rewire the affected nerve pathways to an undamaged area and make that ability return. I am proof of this.
#7: Have you started a business or mission related to MS? Can you tell us about it and what inspired you to take this step?
My Get Back Your Music program is a unique program that combines elements of physical therapy and music therapy together. My job is to facilitate these jam sessions designed to compel participants, (using their original instrument of choice), into trying to get back their lost musical ability. This is achieved by setting small attainable goals that will recondition their brain and invoke their natural Neuroplasticity process. I am also proof that it can be done. A composer of note with progressive MS heard my story and it compelled him to try to play the piano again, and that's what inspired me to start my free program.
Follow me on my socials:
Want to become a part of the movement? Click the box below to order your gear!
Leave a comment, and share your experience. We would love to hear from you!