As an advocate of change I have always fought for equal rights, fair representation, and total equality for everyone. I take great pride in the ability to build communities, solve problems, and collaborate effectively with elected officials. However, my world was changed forever on September 25, 2016 at 2:30 pm. I received the earth-shattering diagnosis of Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. I knew that I would never be the same.
I was hired as a Transportation Planner in the summer of 2015. My work and project implementation received exemplary performance appraisals and I received accolades from staff and local department heads. Around the fall, I began to forget data facts, council member names, and pertinent information pertaining to project implementation. My presentation skills began to dissolve and it became more difficult to focus and pay attention. I tried to study harder and longer but I would constantly forget the material. It is the most terrifying thing in the world to have to face; when you can no longer trust your own mind. I was placed on performance probation in December of 2015. That day I emphatically cried and tried to make sense of what was happening to me. My condition exponentially began to deteriorate; I would forget how to operate the fax machine, printer, employee’s names, etc. On September 1st 2015, I was terminated for poor job performance. Two weeks later I woke-up one morning and could not feel the left side of my body; my vision was blurred, and I had this excruciating pain in my head, neck, and back. My doctor immediately sent me in for an MRI and we discovered my diagnosis.
My journey has been riddled with confusion, tears, and mountains of regret. However, through the adversity I’ve learned that it is not our obstacles in life that tear us apart but it is how we overcome them that truly make us great. I am now being treated with Lemtrada; a fairly new innovative drug with great reviews and outstanding results. I feel confident in my neurologists and his aggressive course of treatment. My objective is to inspire as many as I can with my life story and to show individuals living with MS that they are not alone and there is always hope as long as you believe and continue to push forward. I am Ken Baker and I have Multiple Sclerosis however, Multiple Sclerosis will never have me.