Anthony Poggioli: A Family Man
Anthony Poggioli had only been dating Chrissy for three months when she was diagnosed in March of 2000, at age 23. Nonetheless, “Chrissy’s MS never altered my decision about staying with her,” he said. Anthony and Chrissy married in October 2001, and now have two boys, eight-year-old Brandon and five-year-old and Ryan.
As a family, they are devoted to Walk MS. Anthony is captain of Chrissy’s Crew, which raised over $26,000 in the last Triangle Walk, in the Raleigh, N.C., area, despite his demanding job as a sales director, and the “fulltime job” of marriage and raising kids. “I’m not a martyr,” he said, “but everything I do is for them. I’d love to play golf but I’d rather be at the pool throwing the kids around.”
Though Chrissy’s health is generally good, she has extreme fatigue, some tingling on her left side and significant bladder issues. “She’s a trouper,” Anthony said. “She rises above her exhaustion to play with the boys, so I don’t think they miss out on too much.”
But it’s no surprise that when it comes to Walk MS, Anthony’s mantra is to keep it simple. “I’m not a big believer in doing multiple events—people have limited time and money. I don’t want to overwhelm them,” he said.
Chrissy’s Crew has a theme every year. “Last year it was about the people who walked and how their devotion helped us through the tough times. This year I’m going to do research on where the money goes and let people know in detail. There’s a way of asking without asking—not being sneaky, but to create excitement and energy, hit people at the core and make them feel as if they are missing out if they do not walk or contribute to the cause.”
“Living with the disease is hard at times,” Anthony admitted.“When friends and neighbors ask, I could lie and say everything is fine, but how does that do anyone any good? People don’t want the baloney answer. Be honest with each other, with yourself and with those who care.”