David Osmond Sings for Novartis MS Awareness Campaign

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by Patricia Silva, PhD |

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David Osmand

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A member of the musical Osmond family, David Osmond, recently released a music video for his inspirational song “I Can Do This.” He has dedicated it to men and women all over the world who are faced with challenges that make them doubt their abilities and self-worth, but the real story behind David’s song is much more personal.

In 2006, David was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes sensorimotor and cognitive decline. It came at an unfortunate time in his life because he had just started his performance career in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and was also singing in the Osmond’s 2nd Generation Band.

David has a type of multiple sclerosis known as relapsing-remitting, which has unpredictable periods of relief from symptoms. His father, Alan Osmond, who also had a type of MS, encouraged him to fight through his condition. For the first part, he struggled through the inability to sing, play an instrument, see properly, and walk on his own, but when his symptoms abated, he resumed performing. He was even in the running for American Idol back in 2009. Today, he is married and is a father to two daughters. He has also become a celebrity ambassador for a number of MS campaigns, including his most recent partnership with Swiss pharmaceutical company, Novartis for oral MS drug, Gilenya.

“I remember feeling darkness at first and asking the burning question, ‘Why me?’ It took a while to come to grips with it.”

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Gilenya was launched in 2010, and soon became the singer’s go-to medication, since it was approved around the same time David had begun to be more vocal about his condition, and was constantly looking for ways to get involved. Novartis approached him to get him onboard an awareness and motivational campaign for RRMS entitled, “Our Voice in Song,” where he gives tips on how to live well with MS. The company licensed “I Can Do This,” and is offering it on the website as a complimentary download. David is not required to talk about the drug in any way, but the website — while not intended to promote Gilenya — mentions it for regulatory purposes.

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