In honor of National Family Caregiver Month in November, one country music star wants you to share your stories of caring.
Multi-platinum recording artist Clay Walker was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in 1996. With the help of his wife Jessica, medication and a diet and exercise regimen, Clay has managed to keep the disease at bay while continuing to tour, record and raise a family.
"Jess and I started this campaign along with BandAgainstMS.org and Teva [Pharmaceuticals} and the campaign is called 'Share How You Care,'" said the "Jesse James" singer. "It really goes right along with this month and the spirit of this month is National Family Caregivers Month and it gives us a chance to honor those folks and kind of share both sides of the story."
Known for high-energy performances during his concerts, Clay admits he can't do it alone when it comes to managing his condition.
"Jess is the caregiver and I am the recipient and with her love and support, I feel like I do much better," Clay Walker said.
"What works for us is getting everyday and keeping the same routine," Jessica Walker said. "We eat a healthy diet, we exercise everyday. I laugh because I lay his clothes out to work out everyday and he puts them on and thinks he just has to wear them around the house and he feels fit just doing that so I have to push him a little bit when it comes to the exercise."
To hear stories submitted by users, go to bandagainstms.org and click on the "Share How You Care" tab.
"You can communicate with others and I have found that doing that has really helped me," said Jessica. "Listening to other stories and talking with other people has helped us."
Looking forward, Clay and Jessica hope to help others through the inspirational stories as their family grows.
"When I was originally diagnosed," said Clay, "the prognosis wasn't so great and thanks to things that we're doing right now, you know, sharing our stories, I'm doing well and I travel a lot, I've got kids to raise and we actually have another one on the way,"