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David Osmond finds strength in MS fight through music

From left to right, Alan Osmond, singer David Osmond, and singer Donny Osmond arrive at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Dinner of Champions benefit gala in Los Angeles on Monday, Sept. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)

“It isn’t always easy, but you have to find something to laugh at everyday. You have to find the good in the world,” David Osmond said.

Osmond, son of Alan Osmond, a founder of the music group The Osmonds, was diagnosed with relapsing multiple sclerosis in 2006 at the age of 26.

Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is a disease that attacks the central nervous system. Dr. Barry Hendin, clinical professor of neurology at the University of Arizona and chief of the neurology service at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, said MS primarily targets young adults ages 15 to 45 and is more common among women than men.

The cause of MS is still unknown, but is likely triggered from several environmental factors. While most people have a 1 in 1000 chance of being diagnosed with MS, children with a parent history of MS has a 3 in 100 chance.
David Osmond’s father was diagnosed with primary progressive MS when Davis was a child. He said that his family is the main reason he is able to be so strong and help inspire the MS community through his music and advocacy.
Osmond recalls the biggest influence his life was his grandpa telling him that he could overcome any challenge in life.

“He told me, ‘you can do it, no matter what it is, you can do it. You keep going and you keep fighting,’ and that tenacity he had was the greatest advice for me,” Osmond said.

Hendin said there are two things to focus on to help slow down MS. First is utilizing disease-modifying therapies; Hendin suggested people diagnosed with MS begin the therapy right away because early treatment will help reduce regression. Secondly, consistent intake of vitamin D, exercise and balanced diets are extremely important for good health, as well as figuring out what triggers the illness, Hendin said.

Osmond partnered with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation to launch Our Voice in Song, an educational campaign that empowers people with relapsing MS to become advocates for their disease.

“That’s what I want to make noise about to people, is to get proactive. If you have symptoms, get diagnosed and figure out the best course of action,” Osmond said. “We are all different but there are options, which is really exciting.”

Hendin agreed with Osmond, saying each patient is like a snowflake, everyone has unique problems and ideas but that is what makes a proactive approach to the disease so important because it will help researchers find a solution sooner.
On, Nov. 1, as part of Our Voice in Song, Osmond serenaded participants in the 27th annual Phoenix MS Walk at the Phoenix Zoo. Osmond performed his new song, “I Can Do This,” which was inspired by his family and his journey with relapsing MS.

The walk is a key fundraiser for helping fight MS. According to Lisa Cleary, senior development manager of Walk MS, more than $230,000 was raised this year even more before the event at Phoenix Zoo.

“David is a great guy and he has been a spokesperson for MS since he was diagnosed. He is well-loved, comes from a good family, speaks well about the disease and is a great musician,” Cleary said.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by AHWATUKEEFOOTHILLSNEWS
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length
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