Matt’s Introduction

By Matt Cavallo

Hello and thank you for checking out the MSAA blog. My name is Matt Cavallo and I will be contributing a bi-monthly blog to the MSAA. Since being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in May of 2005, I have dedicated my life, work and education to helping others live well with this devastating disease. My goal of this blog is to draw upon my personal experience to discuss relevant topics and resources for persons living with MS, as well as, for their caregivers.

My journey with MS started in 2005. At the age of 28 years old, I had an acute onset of Transverse Myelitis (TM). The onset of TM claimed my functionality from the waist down. I was unable to walk or go to the bathroom on my own. Six months later, I lost vision in my right eye due to Optic Neuritis. Following the bout of Optic Neuritis, I had a cognitive loss which dramatically affected my memory and word recollection. Finally, in 2010 I had a suffered a fractured C6 vertebrae, which resulted from damage left over from my TM onset. I had to undergo an emergency cervical fusion to prevent becoming a quadriplegic.

When I first started experiencing symptoms, I was depressed and afraid. I thought that at 28 years old my life was over. I would like to say I handled it better, but I didn’t. I pushed away my family, friends and even my wife, Jocelyn. I was sure that the hopes and dreams that Jocelyn and I had together were over because of my condition. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to have kids because of the TM and even if I could still have kids, I didn’t want them to have a sick dad that couldn’t participate in their life.

Today, I am happy, healthy and feeling great overall and am doing things that I never thought was possible when I was first diagnosed. Despite having MS for eight years and the complications that go along with it, I am living my dream. Following my diagnosis, I completed my Masters of Public Health Administration and now work as a consultant in hospitals across the US to help practitioners better service patients like myself. I also penned my personal memoir, The Dog Story, which has been tremendously well received globally by patients, as well as, caregivers who can relate to my story.  Today, I am the proud father of two boys, Mason (5) and Colby (3). The most important thing to me is that I am able to be a father and even coached Mason’s baseball team this past spring.Matt's blog

Today, I have partnered with the MSAA because I believe that we can make a difference in the lives of persons living with Multiple Sclerosis. I will be writing a series of blogs that focus on maintaining a great quality of life despite having MS. My blogs intertwine my personal experience with MS with resources, programs and links that I have found helpful. I intend this blog to be interactive. Please comment, ask questions or suggest topics that you would like to learn more about. We are on this journey together and together, we can make a difference. Thank you for taking the time and for supporting the MSAA.

Share
This entry was posted in Multiple Sclerosis Association of America Guest Bloggers, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , by MSAA. Bookmark the permalink.

About MSAA

As a national nonprofit organization, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is a leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a toll-free Helpline; award-winning publications including a magazine, The Motivator; website featuring educational videos and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.™ program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; a resource database, My MS Resource Locator; equipment distribution ranging from grab bars to wheelchairs; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; educational events and activities; MRI funding and insurance advocacy; and more. For additional information, please visit http://www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.

Comments

  • Mary Alice says:

    Hey Matt,

    I think this is a great concept. I was diagnosed June 2004. Increasingly more persistant fatigue is my biggest issue…..trying to “do it all” sometimes “does me in!!” Looking forward to your guidance.

    • Matt Cavallo says:

      Thanks Mary Alice! It was a great honor to be asked to blog here. I look forward to contributing to the MSAA. Fatigue is a struggle for me too. I’ve found I have peak energy hours in the day (usually the morning) where I have my greatest energy levels. I try to stay active then and coast the rest of the day :)

  • Mary Ellen Shedron says:

    Mega congratulations Matt!
    You are most inspiring to all of us MS warriors … we appreciate hearing your voice through this blog and are most thankful too, to MSAA, for partnering with you for a national platform. Wraparound blessings to you and your family!

  • Hi Matt! It’s so exciting to see your blog here! What you wrote was very touching. You have such a beautiful family! Your boys are precious!! Take care!

    • Matt Cavallo says:

      Thank you Lauren! Thank you so much for the kind words! My boys definitely keep me active. My oldest started kindergarten last week. I got kind of emotional thinking back to those days when I didn’t know if I could have kids because of complications with my MS.

  • Susan Drew says:

    Wow, Matt.
    You were really hit hard, but I can see by the picture of you and your family you,re doing great. I will be blogging too so watch for my story, which is totally different.

    I look forward to keeping up with you and your family and your story.

    Susan

  • Melanie says:

    Hi Renae,I have recently had a full force shove and it rellay tried hard to push me off the cliff.This relapse affected the vision in my good eye (why the hell didn’t it go for the already bad one?!) Because it’s a bully. And after a strong dose for 5 days of horrible but necessary, I guess, steroids, it affecting my eye and 5 weeks later I am still in the process of picking that lovely orange up! I am getting there.This was a lovely empathetic post, thank you.LoveChristine xx

  • Leave a Comment

    NAME:

    EMAIL:

     SPAM PROTECTION: Sum of 2 + 9 ?

    COMMENT: