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The Montel Williams Interview (Page 3 of 3)

An Interview with Montel Williams

MW: I started this foundation right after my diagnosis, because I kept hearing about all the money being raised all over the world to find a cure, and I was finding out that a lot of that money wasnít really going to cures; it was going to the salaries and buildings and monuments of people rather than curing the disease. I wanted to start a foundation where 100 percent of the money donated and earmarked for research to find a cure went exactly there. So, the Montel Williams MS Foundation was established to find a cure, educate the public on the disease, and once we find a cure, see if we can provide medication to those who canít afford it.  To date, weíve given about a million dollars to some of the top hospitals around the world.  Two of the projects that weíre very, very proud of are at the Karolinska Institute of Stockholm, Sweden. One is being conducted by Dr. Tomas Olsen, for having found two of the genes that seem to not only be the catalyst for MS, but for rheumatoid arthritis and for a heart malady. We also have a doctor who is working on a stem cell project. They have actually created spinal cord tissue, and if thatís true, the implications four or five years from now could be profound when it comes to MS or other illnesses where thereís damage being done to the spinal cord or brain matter.  Weíve also helped in the development of what now may be the first blood test for MS. 

GB: What would be the one piece of advice youíd like family caregivers to take from this interview?

MW: Caregivers have to understand that God blesses you for what you do, but if you donít stop every now and then to take care of yourself, you wonít do any good for anybody because the person youíre taking care of wonít be able to absorb your humanity or your spirit if youíre depressed, if you yourself are tired, if you arenít paying attention to your own personal health. The one thing that I think is really important for all caregivers to understand is that every now and then, it goes back to that thought of being honest with the person and building an honest relationship with that person, not be afraid to speak without offending. There may come a moment when you have to tell your friend that I love you, but I need a little break, and I bet you could use a little break from me too, so let me take one and Iíll see you in a few hours or in a few days. Take a break, rather than let it fester and damage your relationship.

 

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