1995 was the first time I was told that I might have Multiple Sclerosis. However, I wanted to finish my MFA. The next step was to get a job. After scanning a map of the US, I say Minnesota. I said, "I would have to land a job at the Guthrie Theater." Instead, my first job was as a Technical Director with the Tacoma Actors Guild. It wasn't until two years later that I heard of an opening at the Guthrie. I applied and I got the job.
I do not regret my decision to pursue my career. I simply chalk it up to a learning experience. Of course it wasn't until recently that I learned that stress and MS do not mix well. I am learning what I need to do to live with this disease. It has been slow and I have not taken it all in as quickly as I needed to, however I still believe that things work out for the best.
Due to the incredibly high cost of treatment; my wife and I are in a mound of debt. And one of the hardest things to overcome was my embarrassment. I did not want to ask for help and I did not want anyone to know that I have Multiple Sclerosis. I am setting my pride aside now. I can no longer afford to allow it hinder me any longer. Unfortunately, my delay in asking for help has put my home in jeopardy. After finally applying for disability; we are still stuck waiting while a decision is made.
Quick is no longer in my dictionary, it was replaced by the newer much less efficient MS Quick. It's not quite as fast as the older version of quick, but I have to live with it. How long will this last? From my experience things come and go with this disease. One has no control over what might be affected. One of my first recollections of this disease was that one day it might take away the things that I love to do. Those of you who know me know that I was always drawing, skating, or machining. I have had to put all of those things to rest.
Yes, I have MS, but MS does not have me.
All help is not only greatly appreciated but will allow my wife and I to remain in our home with the life that we have built together.
I love you all and I thank you so much for the love, prayers, and support!
- Eric Hopp
- Sharon and Walter Gibbs
- Dale Pettigrew
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