Tyler Campbell, the son of the NFL Hall of Famer Earl Campbell, and professional basketball player Chris Wright are not only well-known sports figures, but also for inspiring others with their life journey and struggle with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). Now, Campbell and Wright are inviting other patients who suffer from the same disease to share their testimony through a unique sports event designed to help further advocate for the disease.
The MS Inspiration campaign, which was launched by Biogen Idec, allows any MS patient or their loved ones to share what is inspiring to them in their fight against the disease and toward a fulfilled life. Tyler Campbell and Chris Wright are among the many participants, and the two are now trying to encourage more people to do the same. By talking about how relapsing MS changed their lives, three people will win tickets to attend a sporting event with Tyler or Chris, as announced by Biogen in a press release.
It seemed that Tyler Campbell was going to follow his father’s footsteps, as he was a promising football player in college. However, it was in college that he began to feel tingling and weakness in his body. Not long after, Campbell was diagnosed with relapsing MS, and even though it ended his career and made him change his life goals, he found a new way of feeling fulfilled through helping others. Now he is dedicated to inspiring other MS patients and raising awareness about the disease.
“I was devastated by my diagnosis, but I soon realized that everything happens for a reason. While it may be hard to believe, relapsing MS has made my life richer and more meaningful, and has strengthened my bond with my family,” said Tyler Campbell. “My father has motivated me to keep pushing forward and never quit, and I want to use my experiences to help support others living with the disease to do the same.”
Tyler Campbell and Chris Wright are among what the MS Inspiration campaign estimates to be about 400,000 people in the U.S. who live with MS, and both are being followed by physicians and treated with Biogen Idec MS therapies in order to reduce the burden of symptoms that range from mild, moderate, to severe, including numbness in the limbs to paralysis or loss of vision. About 85% of MS patients are initially diagnosed with relapsing MS, defined by acute attacks followed by full recovery or residual deficit until recovery.
“While relapsing MS is a lifelong disease for which there is no cure, an appropriate treatment can make a real difference in delaying the progression of physical disability,” explained the Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Clinic of Central Texas, Edward Fox, MD, PhD, who is the physician that treats Tyler Campbell. “That’s why it’s so important for people living with relapsing MS to regularly speak with their doctor about their treatment, diet, and exercise plan, and adjust it as needed over time to appropriately manage their condition.”
The stories of both Campbell and Wright are available on MS Inspiration’s website, as well more information on the contest. The campaign aims to collect testimonies of hope and achievement in order to inspire others. The contest, for which there is no purchase required, is open until April 7, 2015, and the three winners will be announced by June.