My name is Tommy Gillard and I live in Alexandria, VA. I am 53 years old and I was diagnosed with Multiple Systems Atrophy-Cerebellar Type
by Johns Hopkins on Jan. 27th, 2009. I had what I thought was my initial onset 6 months previously, while on vacation with my 3 girls in the Keys, FL.
Apparently my dysfunction showed signs even before, but as I was in good shape and working out 3-5 times a week, strength and cardio,
I just brushed them aside. I have since had to resign from my job as I traveled frequently. Needless to say, I have run the gamut of Hospitals
and MDs and will continue to look to science for answers, but for right now, they are not there.
MSA-C like SCA is a degeneration of the cerebellum. According to the experts, I should already be using a cane and in wheel chair by next year.
My life expectancy is about another 7 years. No doubt it is an ugly disease, it is comparable to ALS, which you might be familiar with.
Guess what? I am not buying everything I have been told and a major reason for this is the help and support I received from Dr. Tom Clouse.
I saw Tom speak at a symposium for SCA in the DC area last Spring. He has been the only consistent ray of hope in my battle against MSA-C.
I have just returned from visiting Tom @ his mountain retreat. I can tell you that I went up and down mountains that “kicked my ass”, but I still did
it. The 1st day we did about a 1.5 mile hike and the 2nd day we did 3.5 miles. It was great fun!!!
Tom has shown me techniques to improve my walking and overall balance. He is a committed individual that has a firm grasp on “what works”,
with people in our situation. In my opinion, the fact that he has SCA, is invaluable as it heightens his ability to teach and understand “what works”
and keeps us moving. Obviously, there is also a mental component to our various situations and Toms has been through everything and can be a
help in this area. He is also just a GREAT GUY and fun to be around.
Should you or anyone in your family like to speak with me directly, you can contact me @ 703-535-6959.
I wish you all the best,