Multiple Sclerosis: Montel Williams and MS (cont.)

I cannot suggest anyone break the law. In the state of New York where I live, unfortunately, we do not have a medicinal marijuana law. But about nine months ago, I sat with the district attorney of Manhattan, District Attorney Morgenthal, at a press conference where he himself came forward in support of medicinal marijuana. At that press conference I stated unequivocally, that until the law changes, I guess I'll be breaking the law every day in the state of New York.

MODERATOR:
The FDA web site, where you can submit comments to the FDA about medical marijuana, is www.fda.gov

MEMBER QUESTION:
As a personal trainer, how do you deal with working out? Do you have any problems while working out?

WILLIAMS:
Because I fortunately don't suffer from the fatigue symptom, though I do have balance issues, I work out an hour to an hour and 15 minutes every single day. I do specific exercises and am constantly looking for exercises to counter some of the debilitating aspects of this disease.

BodyChange , which is the name of my fitness book, was born out of the exercise routines I worked on for about two years to help me with some of my symptoms. And I'm about to begin writing another book about fitness to help refine those exercises even more.

MODERATOR:
We are almost out of time. Before we wrap things up for today, do you have any final words for us? And will you come back to talk with us again soon?

"For me, like everybody else that has this illness, it is an everyday thing. Sometimes every hour of the day, but you know what? I decided somebody's got to be in it, and if it's me, I'm in it to win it."

WILLIAMS:
I wrote Climbing Higher because I was walking through an airport one day in Chicago and a woman walked up to me using a walker and she stopped me and she said, "Montel, thank God for you. I have MS and I appreciate all that you do and the fact you've put a face to it." We talked for about 5 or 10 minutes about medication, exercise, and then we both had to go catch our flights.

As she turned to walk away from me she said, "But, I've got to tell you one thing. You really do make it hard on us sometimes."

I said, "What do you mean, what are you talking about?"

"My husband says to me, all the time, why can't you be like Montel? He goes to work and he's dealing with this, why can't you be like him?"

I decided to write this book, because I realized that most people out there only know the one-hour-a-day me, and they don't see any weakness whatsoever. I wrote this book so people understand that I'm not Superman. For me, like everybody else that has this illness, it is an everyday thing. Sometimes every hour of the day, but you know what? I decided somebody's got to be in it, and if it's me, I'm in it to win it.

MODERATOR:
Our thanks to Montel Williams for joining us today. And thanks to you, members, for your great questions. I'm sorry we couldn't get to all of them. For more information, please read Climbing Higher . And go to www.montelms.org for more information about the Montel Williams MS Foundation.



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