March 5, 2003
Country star Clay Walker no longer has to ask "Then What." The singer is now coming out in the open about his 1996 diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and what he is doing to fight the disease.
According to billboard.com, Walker has founded a not-for-profit organization, the Band Against MS Foundation. The organization's goals are to help people living with the disease, provide funding for MS programs and research, and to help in finding a cure.
According to band-against-ms.org, the singer was diagnosed with the relapsing-remitting form of MS at the age of 26. Tests were taken after he felt tingling, numbness on his right side, and facial spasms. His first attack left him with numbness in his right hand and leg.
"Living with MS hasn't been easy, but I feel blessed to continue to be so healthy," Walker said in a statement. "I know not everyone who is diagnosed with MS is as lucky as I am. Maybe by being more public about how I cope will inspire others and help raise money to find a cure for this disease. The Band Against MS Foundation is an extension of those goals."
Walker will sell the foundation's merchandise on an upcoming tour. He hopes the entertainment industry will take part in helping find the cure to MS.
"There is real hope that with additional funding and research we can eliminate MS in my lifetime," Walker said. "Through the Band Against MS Foundation, I plan to lead that charge and encourage others to join me in this fight."
Walker is expected to announce a full tour schedule soon.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, "Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic unpredictable neurological disease. MS can cause blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, and blindness. These problems may be permanent, or they may come and go." Approximately 400,000 Americans have MS.
For more information on Clay Walker's foundation, check out http://www.band-against-ms.org/
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