MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - They say tattoos tell a story of someone's life. For Jerry Savoy, his tattoo, that reads "MS Warrior," tell a story about a disease that would change his life forever.
"It's not a death sentence, I tell my friends it's a suffering sentence," said Savoy. "It just makes your life harder."
Savoy was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 14 years ago. A disease where the body's immune system attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. It affects each person differently. For Savoy, his affects his balance.
"The trouble with it is it's an internal disease so nobody can see it from the outside," said Savoy. "I use a cane or walker. I don't walk as fast. I have double-vision. When I read something, I have to close my eye in order to read it to get rid of the double vision. When I'm out in public and using a cane or walker and parking in handicapped spot, nobody can see whats wrong with me. so I get looks like 'Why are you parked in the handicapped spot?'"
But that's why he's part of The Permian Basin Multiple Sclerosis Support Group, where he meets with others diagnosed with MS, to talk with each other about medications or MS problems. But the other reason, is they aim to spread awareness about the disease so they can share knowledge but at the same time, they hope it'll fund more research. Because that is what helped Savoy over the years.
"When I was diagnosed in '04, there was only five medications for MS," he said. "With all the research, there's 16 FDA-approved medications."
Because although Savoy can't walk as fast, he and others like him, hope that someone can walk a little faster to the finish line, where the cure to Multiple Sclerosis is waiting at the end.
The Permian Basin Multiple Sclerosis Support Group has an event coming up this Saturday, Mar. 5 at the Holiday Inn Express on JBS Parkway in Odessa. It starts at 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. You'll get the chance to participate in activities and learn more about Multiple Sclerosis.