Man finds new purpose through multiple sclerosis diagnosis
JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Being unexpectedly diagnosed with a disease is hard to come to terms with.
In April 2020, George Michael Wright Jr. was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). While the illness has changed his life forever, it has also given him a new purpose.
“I have primary progressive multiple sclerosis,” Wright said. ‘So, what that means is, I really don’t have any period of where I just kind of, I guess, have a period where I get back to normal, where I don’t have any symptoms. I just slowly continued to decline.”
Wright says that day in April was “the hardest day of my life.” He says the last two years have been completely different and now, he spends the majority of his time in a wheelchair.
“It’s a terrible disease. It really is. It cost me my career at Nucor,” Wright said.
Hired at Nucor in 2018, Wright says within two years he moved up in rank and established a family within Nucor. He made it to the steel mill manager until one day he couldn’t get his headache to stop.
“I would take probably anywhere from 10 and 12 ibuprofen daily, just to keep from hurting,” Wright said.
But, the true source of that pain was soon revealed. He went to the clinic at Nucor and they suggested he go to the emergency room immediately.
Several doctors later, between Jonesboro and Memphis confirmed it all; he had primary progressive multiple sclerosis.
While he says everyone with MS symptoms varies, he would experience everything from his leg dragging to him being unable to pick up food.
He learned quickly that for years, he had been masking his symptoms.
Wright says this all happened to him for a reason. After feeling lost in life for so many years, he committed his life to Christ in 2016.
In hindsight, he says it is something that prepared him for the storm that was to come just four years later.
While in the hospital, he says he had a dream that told him to fight and from that moment, he started doing research.
After learning more about the illness, he was quickly inspired by the purpose of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. What he learned, ultimately inspired him to start something similar in Northeast Arkansas.
Through support from his wife, church family and friends at NUCOR, he has found a new purpose. Michael has founded the Northeast Arkansas Chapter of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness.
“Let us all get together. Socialize. I think socializing with people with MS is a big part. I know it is for me. I was giving up before I started all of this,” Wright said.
Hoping to not only bring awareness to MS but bring together those who have been impacted by the disease.
“There’s also you know people out here that gets extremely depressed,” Wright said. “This chapter is also here for a purpose to help others that may we be suffering more from a mental half of this disease. "
Whether you have multiple sclerosis, know someone who does, or just want to join in on connecting, Wright is challenging you to connect, come and fight with him.
You can learn more about the Northeast Arkansas Chapter of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness on Facebook or through its website.
Wright has established a Go Fund Me page for those who would like to donate directly to the Northeast Arkansas Chapter of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness and its mission. Click here for more information.
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