TORONTO — Chad Vaccarino of pop duo A Great Big World revealed Monday he is living with multiple sclerosis.
The musician said he was diagnosed in 2007 while attending New York University.
“My legs were buckling, my vision was blurry, and I had spells of vertigo,” Vaccarino explained in a message posted on the band’s website.
“I had convinced myself that if I ignored the symptoms, they would disappear.”
According to the MS Society of Canada, multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system that has no cure. An estimated 100,000 Canadians have MS and the country has one of the highest rates of MS in the world.
Vaccarino said he was prescribed weekly injections to manage his condition but experienced side effects like hallucinations and seizures.
He eventually sought the advice of a holistic doctor and, later, was inspired by a YouTube video of Dr. Terry Wahls — whose focus was on using healthy foods and lifestyle habits to treat MS.
“I decided to try the diet she outlined in her video and within a month, my symptoms were gone,” recalled Vaccarino. “I was able to enjoy life and do the things I loved. I was myself again.”
The musician said living with MS is an ongoing journey that is made challenging by life on the road.
“The demanding schedule makes it hard to get the food, sleep, and exercise that my body needs all of the time,” he said, “and it results in the reappearance of old symptoms.”
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Still, Vaccarino described his diagnosis as “a blessing in disguise” since it has forced him to be more aware of what he puts in his body.
“I’m sharing my story in the hopes that it might inspire you,” he said. “Whether you have MS or not, if you give your mind and body what it needs, full health is possible.”
A Great Big World performs Tuesday night in Toronto.
© 2014 Shaw Media