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Monday

 

Dealing with MS: One Man's Story
















































Dan Melfi, diagnosed with MS in 2009, is still getting the hook in the water and considers exercise to be part of his medicine. 
Image Source: NORTHAMERICANPRECISSYNDICATE

MS is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body. More than 2.3 million people are living with MS worldwide.

If you or anyone you care about is ever among them, you may find the National MS Society’s awareness campaign, Together We Are Stronger, inspiring. It features people affected by MS and how their fierce resolve has developed diverse, innovative solutions to overcoming the challenges and staying stronger than the disease.

One Man’s Story

For example, consider Dan Melfi, who says it is part of his family culture to fish. “My grandfather was a great fly fisherman into his late 90s,” remembers Melfi.

“I can’t fly-fish where you stand out in the middle of the stream. It’s going to be tough for me to stream fish from now on,” says Melfi, referring to mobility challenges related to his 2009 MS diagnosis and the hike that is often required to access a mountain stream. So he found and stocked a special vest—a fishing coat—with everything he needs: “my fly hook, bait, bug spray.” The vest is lightweight so Melfi can wear it, with the strap of his folding chair slung over his shoulder as he uses his arm crutches to travel from his car to the lake’s edge.

“I can’t stand for an extended period of time. So I take the chair.” Melfi loves that he can stay out fishing “for hours, because I have the chair. And my pole. And everything’s on my body.

“I’m still getting the hook in the water. Once you get in the chair and you start casting, you’re fishing. You sit back and you look at life and it’s like, ‘Wow, this is pretty cool.’”

Melfi also practices yoga at home to help resolve the spasticity, stiffness and other symptoms that MS can bring, particularly in his legs. “Even though it’s so hard for me in the first three or four minutes to do anything, after 15 or 20 ... I feel so much better.”

He cites the importance of routine to help him stay independent and in control of his health. “You make it into a routine of your life. That’s part of my medicine now, is exercise.”

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

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