I guess you could say I was in the best time of my life.  It was the early summer of 2003, I had just married Leslie in April and we were settling in to our lives as a married couple at our home in Upton.  We had not a care in the world, or so we thought.  I remember it started to happen while I was mowing the lawn (no, I was not looking for an excuse not to mow!).  While I was mowing, my leg would get very weak and I would stumble.  I would sit for a few minutes and then it seemed to get better so I could resume mowing.  I mentioned this to Leslie and she suggested perhaps it was a pinched nerve in my back and I should see my doctor.  He referred me to a muscle specialist who ordered an MRI of my head and neck.  At this point we still thought they were looking for a pinched nerve.  It was in mid-August when I called my doctor while I was at work for the results of the MRI.  He told me over the phone that I had MS.  I really didn’t know what it was so I called Leslie at work and told her what the Doctor said.  She
yelled into the phone “he said you have Multiple Sclerosis?”  I said “no, he told me I have Multiple Sclerizious, not the same thing!”

Thankfully, we can laugh about my misunderstanding today, but at the time, the news was devastating to both of us.  Obviously I didn’t hear what the doctor said and I didn’t know anything about the disease.  Leslie knew about it because her mother is a nurse and had taken care of a patient with MS for many years.  I remember the first Doctor we saw told us that the first thing we needed to do was to learn how to say and spell “Sclerosis” (I could have used that advice earlier).  Over the next few months we saw other Doctors but were not happy until we were finally able to see Dr. Howard Weiner at the MS Center at Brigham & Women’s Hospital.  I continue to be under his excellent care to this day.  Looking back, I feel like I was one of the lucky ones.  I was diagnosed really quickly so I could immediately start one of the treatments on the market called Rebif.   I think the things that keep me going each day are the unending support of my wife and family, a positive attitude and good sense of humor.  I take good care of myself and I try to live each day to the fullest and not get down or depressed about my disease (otherwise I will get a well deserved kick in the rear from my wife!).  I, along with thousands of others affected by MS, live each day with hope for a bright future and that there will soon be a cure on the horizon.

Words cannot express my gratitude for your support and I cannot thank you enough for sponsoring my wife, family and friends for these very important events. 

Tom Baldi

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