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Dell Rapids Teenager Battles MS

May 2, 2014, 6:23 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Dell Rapids Teenager Battles MS

While you might think neurological problems affect mainly older people, multiple sclerosis is usually diagnosed in early adulthood.

In fact, a KELOLAND teenager will be the ambassador in this weekend's MS Walk.

Like thousands of other South Dakota Seniors, 18-year-old Damon Scott is excited to graduate this month. He's even sporting his future university colors.

"I'm thinking about going into human resources," Scott said.

Scott has had a unique obstacle he's had to battle during his high school years.

"I have a hard time remembering some things, like I could be asking a question, and then stop," Scott said.

When he was 16 years old, Scott was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis after he noticed he was struggling in athletics.

"My left leg started dragging on the ground," Scott said.

While Scott's case is unusual, people with MS are often diagnosed in early adulthood.

"Relapsing, remitting MS is the most common type. Typically the average age for onset of that type of MS is between 25 to 30 years old," Neurology Associates Neurologist Dr. Lisa Viola said.

Viola says the symptoms of MS can vary.  Some patients may have difficulty walking or balancing, while others experience weakness, numbness or dizziness.

"Ocular symptoms like something called optic neuritis where somebody will have visual loss in one eye," Viola said.

Viola says the treatment for MS has improved dramatically, but still, Scott had to give up playing basketball. The last couple of years, he has been the team's student manager.

"I just decided my job would be to try to encourage the players to play better," Scott said.

Scott is also encouraging others to help find a cure for MS. He's the ambassador in this year's Sioux Falls Walk MS.

"To help find a cure because there are people out there who are worse than I am," Scott said.

The Walk MS is Saturday morning at the University of Sioux Falls, Stewart Center.


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