Montel Williams: Living with MS
WebMD Live Events Transcript
Montel Williams faces challenges everyday in his role as an award-winning talk show host. But none compare with the challenge of living day-to-day with MS - multiple sclerosis. He joined us on March 8 to talk about his fight against MS.
The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.
I then saw doctors from the Naval Academy, Walter Reed, Bethesda Naval Hospital and Johns Hopkins, none of whom could determine the etiology of my loss of vision. No one at the time even speculated MS, because if you look back, this was 1980 and back then, the disease was only associated with Caucasian females of northern European descent, and here I was a 22-year-old African-American male and at that point 100% in great shape. MS was the farthest thing from any doctor's mind.
I went on to cyclically remit and relapse for the next 19 years before I was diagnosed. In some ways I can look back and say I'm glad it took them 19 years, because had I received the prognosis that most doctors were giving back then, I probably would have given up on myself and not be where I am today.
At this point the only person who knew was my ex-wife. I had not told my children, my parents, or even the company that syndicated my show, and I didn't do so because of the same fear that a lot of the people writing in today have, because as soon as you say you are ill in this country, people automatically assume you are weak, and in my profession, television, we don't tolerate weakness. The reason why I hid my diagnosis is because I thought if I came forward, I'd lose my job. I thought I'd lose my family.
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