Looking at Dan Pimenta, you wouldn’t know he was suffering from a chronic illness — but the 53-year-old has multiple sclerosis (MS). He was diagnosed at the age of 28 after experiencing numbness down one side of his head and body.
According to a report on salemnews.com, Pimenta thought his life was over. He thought MS meant that he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair and that he would have to give up his job as a firefighter.
Thankfully, things didn’t work out that way. His doctor put him on an innovative drug called Betaseron. His fire chief was willing to give him a chance to continue on, a kindness that has been repaid with 25 years of service.
As well as taking Betaseron, Pimenta also changed his lifestyle. He started exercising regularly and eating well, and so far he hasn’t had any significant episodes and has been able to live life to the fullest as a husband, father, and firefighter.
Pimenta decided to keep his health condition to himself for a number of years until he eventually shared the diagnosis with friends and co-workers. He even waited until his children were old enough to understand before he told them about his MS.
He now takes the opportunity to spread awareness and fundraises regularly for multiple sclerosis organizations. He recently participated in Boston’s MS Climb to the Top, along with the rest of his firehouse.
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