Hello Family & Friends,
I am celebrating my 15th year since my diagnosis of MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS in 1993.
I was only 38 years old, a mother of a beautiful 3 year old Miss Elizabeth, a wife with a wonderful husband Dr. Alan Galbut married for 10 years, a podiatric physician in practice for 10 years when in the middle of doing surgery I WENT BLIND!!! In an instant, my life as I knew it was OVER!!!. I lost my health, my career, my collegues, my friends, and ultimately MY SELF.
Fortunately for me, a very wise woman named BESSIE GALBUT told me that I was no longer in the business of taking care of SOLES meaning FEET, but now I would Save SOULS. And dear Aunt Bessie was right. I was once BLIND, but now I see ... what life really means. It's about embracing the difficult challenges in your life and creating joy by being of service to others who are needy and helping the less fortunate.
Shortly after my diagnosis, I became the volunteer Leader of the Naples National MS Society Support and served those afflicted with MS for 8 years. In 2000, my new friend Lisa Luthringer and I recognized the need for more in our community. An idea became a vision and we cofounded our 1st charity MS Home. Yesterday was the official ribbon cutting ceremony for MS Home - now The Multiple Sclerosis Center of SWFL serving nearly 300 individuals and their families. We have turned over the day to day operation to a very capable Board of Directors, so we can focus on our limited energy on EDUCATION which has always been our passion. With the support of family, friends and strangers- dreams become realities.
Lisa and I cofounded our 2nd Charity the HEIL LUTHRINGER FOUNDATION for Multiple Sclerosis Education in December 2007.
1) People still don't know what this devastating disease is. Even the medical professionals need some updates.
2) This is not MD. We are NOT one of JERRY's KIDS, although we would gladly be adopted.
3) Right now I'm feeling pretty good and who else is going to do it?
4) Until there is a cure, individuals need to learn how to live with MS.
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Debbie Heil Galbut