You Can Always Do Something

As I stood in the granite halls of the Maine State House near the end of my two terms as a representative, I felt an immense sense of pride and gratitude for my experience in public office. After serving as city clerk in my hometown for 40 years, two terms in the city council and two terms as Mayor, I knew some doors were closing, but also knew my journey in public service wouldn’t end here.

In my life, I have the honor of meeting people who have opened my eyes to new perspectives I never thought possible. They have each left a mark on my journey with MS and have shaped me to keep fighting for what’s right.

My story with MS began at an early age. My first cousin was diagnosed with MS, along with several extended cousins. Then my daughter was diagnosed at 24 years old, and not too long after, I myself heard the life-altering words that I have MS.

My daughter is an inspiration to me. Though seven years ago she passed from a brain tumor, I will always be in awe of the way she juggled work, family and the challenges that came with living with MS. The way she just kept going. Her courageous spirit lives within me, as I have spent my life moving forward to create meaningful change in the MS movement.

Me and my wife at the Society's national Public Policy Conference.

I went into my term as state representative wanting to help the over 3,000 people in Maine living with MS and to support any piece of legislation for those living with a chronic disease. I was inspired by the way I could help others. In helping others, I realized the greatest joy came in how I was able to keep up the momentum and make real change.

I’m a strong believer that you can always do something to help yourself. And by extension, you can also do something to help others. I do what I need to do to keep going. I may get tired, but I can rest or take a nap. I may not be able to walk more than a mile, but my cane and wheelchair ensure my body can keep up with my work and mind. I’m committed to a positive attitude that far surpasses whatever challenges MS puts in my way. Being involved in public service has been my way of keeping my mind and body moving forward.

I’m not stopping here. I’m currently working as an MS activist serving on the Government Relations Committee to ensure our elected officials support policies and issues that help families affected by MS. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I know I have a lot more passion left in me than to leave the world of public service.

My suggestion to all with disabilities is to find what you can do comfortably and do it. Find a way to move forward despite whatever obstacle it may be—whether it's MS, another disease or disability—and do something to help yourself and others around you.

We want to know: what do you do to help others living with MS?

Join Archie as an activist here!
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​Archie Verow

Archie Verow has spent over 40 years in public service in Maine as a city clerk, city council member, Mayor and state representative. He is currently an MS activist and active member of the Society’s Government Relations Advisory Committee, and advocates for legislation that will benefit people affected by MS.

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  • Avatar
    Enjoying-the-Ride  May 4, 2017 10:45 AM
    Archie, nice to see a post from a fellow Mainer! Thanks for all you do to support those of us with MS.
  • Johan   May 4, 2017 11:55 AM
    MS Connect …
    What do I do to help others with MS? Well, to be honest, I don’t know. Maybe nothing, but I think I do something. What, I don’t know. People with MS don’t tell me. And, I don’t know an awful lot of them. I have a cousin who lives in the Netherlands with MS, and I know a few people around town here (West Michigan) with MS. Mostly from the MS community. Oh, and my uncle’s second wife has MS. But none of them have told me what it is, if anything, I do that helps them.
    What I do know is what others with MS have done for me. There is a vast amount of MSers within the online community. I see many of them “virtually” every day. They keep me going. They stimulate my brain. Make me think. Give me ideas. The ones I see around town do the same thing and more. I like to think I add to the minutia, that’s what I do to help others with MS. I keep going. Despite the desire to say F-it. Despite the desire to exhibit negativity because MS is a motha f****. Which it is.
    But I appreciate each and every one of em, you too Mr. Verow, for continuing to keep going, and as my father often says for continuing to “keep fighting the good fight.”

  • David Maskalick   May 4, 2017 2:42 PM
    Archie, Your perseverance is an inspiration to all of us with MS! Thank you!!
  • Joan   May 4, 2017 4:17 PM
    Thank you, Archie, for your service and your inspiring words.
  • Reyna Addessi   May 5, 2017 1:01 PM
    Thank you from the bottom of my hearth for being a strong voice for people with MS..we need more people in this world that really care, and live to help another human being in the most dark moments on their life. Again thank you!! God bless you.
  • Avatar
    bubbadog66  May 11, 2017 2:24 PM
    Hi Archie,
    For some God given reason i happened upon your blog today...i usually don't visit the blog section of this site, only the discussions and messages from my connections. I myself and a 51 yr old Standish, ME resident diagnosed with RRMS last Dec.
    I've had MS symptoms for almost a decade prior to my diagnosis. Being ignorant to what MS really is i was very guilty of. Per my Neurologist i came to this site to get educated by people walking the walk. I've posted several discussions along the way and give my two cents worth when it could be helpful according to my heart.
    I've been unable to work since last Sep so i have had to rely on public assistance to get my basic needs met. I was denied SSDI, 2nd appeal this past Monday. I have fallen through just about every crack in the system i've been reduced to dealing with to survive. I have an MS financed short term case manager who is looking for something more long term for me as well as assisted living...either permanent but hopefully temporary. My Standish residence is an ideal situation for me if i can swing it financially. My story is too long and detailed to type all out. My cognitive dysfunction is escalating daily, my mobility has me using assistive devices like walking stick and wheelchair.
    I will gladly discuss in detail my challenges if you're interested given we both live in Maine.
    Your blog was very interesting...thx for taking the time to compose it.
    Joe Bennett
    Standish, ME