Father And Son To Headline Luncheon
by John S. Owens
February 14, 2011
Everyone agrees, multiple sclerosis is one bad apple, but this celebrity family won’t let it spoil the whole bunch. Singer-songwriter David Osmond is returning to Connecticut for the 28th annual Women Against MS (WAMS) luncheon of Fairfield County on Friday, May 6, at the Hyatt Regency in Old Greenwich; but this year he won’t be alone.
Osmond will be joined by his father Alan, a member of the famous Osmond Brothers singing troupe, as the keynote speakers at this years WAMS event. The 2010 event featured the younger Osmond, who was diagnosed with MS in 2006, as the keynote speaker and performer.
After graduating from college in 2005, David Osmond’s health began to deteriorate. He found himself unable to walk and consequently in a wheelchair for the better part of a year. He was initially diagnosed with West Nile Virus and a year later, he was also diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. As a result of his illness, his breathing became so labored he could no longer sing and playing a guitar was out of the question.
“I thought music was done for me,” said Osmond, who began singing at the tender age of four.
Fortunately, over time and with treatment, Osmond, 30, regained function and has been able to pursue his music career with more vigor than ever.
Last March, Osmond released Reflected, his debut album, and the song “Last Day,” the first single from the album. The release came roughly a year after Osmond, an accomplished singer, musician and actor, auditioned on American Idol. Osmond made it through auditions to Hollywood Week on the show, which featured his battle with MS. He received further exposure through an appearance on NBC’s Today Show, this past October, where he spoke in-depth with host Meredith Vieira about his personal journey.
“I've been really blessed,” said Osmond. “Music is my life, and I had the chance to share it once again with everyone who watches American Idol. Although my time in the pressure cooker was short lived, it still was a great opportunity for me to let people know a little more about multiple sclerosis. It has also led to a whole new array of radio and television opportunities.”
David’s father Alan was a founding member of the Osmond Brothers singing troupe that was one of the biggest groups of the 1960’s and 1970’s, selling more than 102 million albums worldwide. He has battled the baffling and potentially debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis for the past 20 years. In 2000, Alan received the Dorothy Corwin Spirit of Life Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and has lived by the motto, “I may have MS, but MS does not have me.”
Multiple sclerosis is a potentially debilitating autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. The cause is unknown and there currently is no cure. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.
David Osmond is partnered with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and serves as an official ambassador and spokesperson, raising awareness and educating others on the effects of the disease. He travels the country performing and sharing his personal story of living life to the fullest in the face of the unpredictable effects of multiple sclerosis.
The 2010 WAMS Luncheon event, held at the Greenwich Country Club, attracted 235 guests and raise more than $70,000 for the Connecticut Chapter.
Each year at the WAMS Luncheon of Fairfield Country, the chapter presents the annual Georgina B. Davids Award. This year’s award will be presented to Weston resident Patty Mertz. In 2010, the chapter honored Darien resident Jennifer Corn Carter for her nearly three decades of volunteering with the National MS Society. The award is presented annually to those who have made a difference in the lives of others living with MS.
Funds raised through Connecticut Chapter events, such as WAMS Luncheons, ensure ongoing scientific research to find better treatments and a cure. These funds also provide for the continuation of vital programs and services offered by the chapter to the more than 6,000 Connecticut residents diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
This year’s WAMS Luncheon of Fairfield County will be held Friday, May 6, at the Hyatt Regency in Old Greenwich. There are still opportunities to serve as table captains for the WAMS Luncheon of Fairfield County.
For more information on serving as a table captain or to reserve a seat, please contact Kim Maloney at 860-913-2550, ext. 334, or visit www.ctfightsMS.org.