Antonio Collodoro, diagnosed in 2001
Antonio Collodoro shares his time and unique talents with the MS Society as a volunteer, event participant and ambassador.
What do you remember most from the day you were diagnosed?
One thing that sticks with me is my drive home from the hospital after learning I had MS. I called my friend Sarah and just drove around Lake Calhoun a bunch of times and talked to her. After that I went to my mom’s house and told her. We hugged forever. It was the longest hug I had given my mom since I was maybe 8 years old.
What have you learned from living with MS?
I think it’s a blessing because I love my life and it wouldn’t be what it is today if I hadn’t been diagnosed. Having MS has allowed me to be aware of myself and how the choices I make in my life affect me. It has taught me to care about myself in a way I hadn’t before.
What advice to you have for someone newly diagnosed?
Surround yourself with everyone who cares about you and who you care about and get support from them. Also, be strong and find out everything you can about this disease. Figure out what you need to change to make yourself more physically and emotionally healthy and start making those changes today.
What are you doing to move us closer to a world free of MS?
I’m sharing my story, volunteering, being a face of this disease. Because I know by simply sharing my experience with other people, I am raising awareness, bringing hope and getting us closer to a cure.
What kind of influence has volunteering had on your life?
Before volunteering I hadn't known anyone else with MS. For the first time I connected with other people living with the disease and felt like I'm not just focused on myself and my disease, but instead on the bigger issue of MS. I feel fortunate that through photography I'm doing my part to help the movement.