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Episode 104 – An Alumni’s Journey with MS and Advice on Handling Adversity
On this unique episode of the Cameron-Brooks podcast, we interview an alumni about his journey with multiple sclerosis and his positive mindset in handling adversity. Kevin Byrne, a former Army Apache Helicopter Pilot, who transitioned through the Cameron-Brooks program in 2000, recently volunteered to be a guest on our podcast. Kevin has a heroic story to tell. This podcast is unlike any other we have done in 100+ episodes.
At first, I thought we were going to discuss Kevin’s career and transition and maybe he did as well. However, as I studied his LinkedIn profile, I noticed something particular about his career. He has not been working for the last 3 years. As Kevin says, he is twice retired. First in 2000, he medically retired from the Army due to Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis and again in 2017 due to the effects of the debilitating disease.
In this podcast, Kevin tells his story on continually adapting to his life situation and handling adversity. He says, “This disease will never stop and never quit, so neither will I.” With this motto, he started a non-profit “Never Stop, Never Quit” to to raise money for larger/national organizations intent on finding a cure for, and managing the devastating effects of, multiple sclerosis.
Prior to his “second” retirement, Kevin worked in Corporate America for 17 years in a variety of procurement and supply chain roles and organizations. During this time, he also served on various non-profit boards such as the Oregon Chapter of National Multiple Sclerosis Society and West Point Society of Oregon. Most significantly, he started blogging as an outlet to express emotions battling this disease. He then turned those blogs into writing books and has written 5 books to include My MS and E which he wrote with his daughter, Eleanor. All proceeds from his books support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
From Kevin’s website, here are his harsh realities:
• There is nothing on the market today with the ability to cure my multiple sclerosis or send it into remission.
• It is debatable whether or not my current medications are slowing the progression of my MS, giving me an extra year when, before, I only had a month.
• There is no known way to recover function I have lost, or will lose, due to the damaging effects of my MS.
• There is no way to predict, identify, or isolate early-onset MS, and eradicate the disease before it affects the next generation.
• Not yet…
Overcoming those realities are our dreams; the only possibilities for realization come in the form of research and development. Your financial support is needed if we are going to win this fight.
Because it is a fight.
The fight is not over and it won’t be over until a cure is found.
It will never stop…nor will we
It will never quit…nor will we
This is why we fight!
Please support our fight.
Please consider a donation to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, supporting Kevin’s daughter, Eleanor, in her personal fundraising efforts, or buying one of his books.