Marathoner Finds ‘Magic Freedom’ from MS Through Running
In 2003, John Platt described himself as the average Joe. He was just a regular guy putting in long hours in the corporate world and married with his first child on the way. Yet, in 2005, after two years of coping with unexplained health challenges, Platt was diagnosed with a demyelinating disease - multiple sclerosis (MS). By 2007, Platt’s symptoms had forced him to quit his job and give up his work life, and by 2013, he relied heavily on a cane for walking. John also spent most of his summer days confined to his home because the heat would trigger his flare ups. One complication of his disease is Uhthoff’s phenomenon, which occurs because of damage to the optic nerve. This complication impairs a person’s vision when their body temperature becomes elevated.
At that point in his life, Platt described himself as feeling isolated, depressed, and extremely frustrated. Then, something unexpected happened. He lost a close friend to complications from MS, igniting a desire for change in him and causing him to leap into action and take control of the things he could in his life. “I decided to teach my two young daughters what it meant to try to be a little bit better today than I was yesterday. I threw my cane to the side and started walking out of spite. In the beginning, it was simply to show my daughters that we are all faced with challenges, but we try to make the best of them” he said.