The first class of MS Ambassadors proved Brenda’s Patient Ambassador model could work, but the true measure of success was whether the experiment was repeatable. That meant the second class of MS Ambassadors—and every class that followed—was just as important as the first. Luckily, that second class included someone who left a lasting impression by offering a fresh perspective on what it means to be a family man.
Gary used to be a workaholic—work is what he lived for and it made him feel complete. But a diagnosis of relapsing multiple sclerosis challenged his view of success and forced him to reorder the priorities in his life. And what mattered to him was his family. That’s what motivated him to get on treatment and stay on it.
Something else that motivated him was his role as an Ambassador. For Gary, being an Ambassador made him a better person and helped him understand that, “Everyone is dealing with something in their life, but it’s not about what we are dealing with but how we handle it. I believe that staying calm and positive and keeping your mind open will serve you better in finding resolutions.”
In 2007, Gary’s wife, Kathy, joined him as an MS Care Partner Ambassador. For Kathy, being an Ambassador reaffirmed that the more she extended her hand to help others, the more she could inspire or encourage those she helped, and they would return the favor to someone else.
Today, Gary is doing great, living a full life with few limitations. He and Kathy celebrated 39 years of marriage in May 2021, and with four amazing grandchildren their family feels complete. As for their MS Ambassador family, it continues to grow exponentially every time something they shared impacts someone else.