Mike Sweeney

August 12, 2012

My name is Mike Sweeney and I’m 68 years old. I was diagnosed with SCA1 in 1997 and took a medical retirement in 2006. My movements and walking ability continued to decline and just a couple of months ago I believed that I would soon have to move from using a cane to wheelchair. I felt that unsafe on my feet.

Then Dr. Tom Clouse came to town. I worked with him for a dozen or more hours and he showed me how to move again. He taught me how to feel and be safe on my feet again. Because of that today I am walking safely without a cane. I’m also navigating steps, curbs, hills and uneven terrain without assistance or fear. I’m doing things I never would have tried before working with Dr. Clouse, like mowing the lawn last week for the first time in several years.

The time I spent working with him also enabled me to enjoy a three week road trip last month with my grandkids. Because of him I was able to walk with the kids through Yellowstone and Zion Parks, float down the Virgin River in Utah, and take them to Disneyland, Custer’s Battlefield and Mount Rushmore. It was the trip of a lifetime!

Friends and family are commenting on how much better I’m walking. As one friend told me, “He gave you back your mobility.” True!

Tom Clouse is the most unselfish person I have ever met. He travels the world working with people with ataxia because he wants to help them have better lives. He certainly succeeded with me and the 10 or so other people he worked with while he was here in Minnesota in June.

A simple “Thanks Tom” doesn’t begin to express the gratitude I have for this man. I was so lucky to have worked with him and so proud to call him friend.

Mike Sweeney
St. Paul, MN