All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for November 2003

Actor Details Battle Against Multiple Sclerosis

Lander Spreads Word About Devastating Disease

November 7, 2003
The Indy

A popular actor has taken on a new role that's much more serious and personal than anything he's done on screen.

David Lander -- who played Squiggy on the 1970s sitcom "Laverne and Shirley" -- is visiting Indianapolis this weekend to talk about his battle with multiple sclerosis.

Nearly 8,000 Hoosiers suffer from the disease, Staying Healthy's Stacia Matthews reported.

Lander was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis after the last taping of "Laverne and Shirley." At first he tried to hide it, now he's an ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

"I'm doing pretty good. Today is a very good day," Lander said.

Ironically, Lander's second visit to Indianapolis coincides with the findings of a new study. The first large trial to test whether marijuana helps treat the symptoms the disease drew mixed results, Matthews reported.

"Well I don't do it anymore, but if I was to do it, it depends on the quality of the dope. Some is very strong, some is not so strong and it depends how much of it you smoke," Lander said.

Lander wants Hoosiers living with MS to know about an exciting experimental drug called Anagren, but the drug is still two years away from hitting the market.

"I know all of us with MS go, 'Two years, that's a lifetime.' But what the heck, we've waited long enough. I don't know if anything is a cure. I'm not gonna mess with that word," Lander said.

Lander believes a vaccine is more realistic.

"If you use Anovex, which is the drug I'm taking, and you give it to someone who has had only one attack, then you can ... stop the progression, and that's almost like a vaccine, and I see that as very promising," Lander said.

Lander will share more about multiple sclerosis and his own personal experience with the disease Saturday at the Indianapolis Marriott North. Registration begins at 9 a.m., and is free to the public.

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