A Gift of Love
Pat Rapozo wins Clay Walker autographed guitar for wife Teresa
Though no one wishes to hear the words, “you have MS,” sometimes those words can provide experiences of love and bonding beyond description. Such an example of love was seen this year at the National MS Society's annual conference. It started when country music star Clay Walker, who lives with the challenges of MS himself, decided to autograph and donate one of his guitars to a silent auction in support of the MS movement. It concluded with a special gift of love from husband Pat Rapozo to his wife Teresa, who also has MS, when he won the autographed guitar for her with a bid of $3,100.
Since being diagnosed with MS, Teresa has been active with both the Greater Washington Chapter and the Home Office of the National MS Society. “For all the knowledge, support, and friendship that the Society has given me, I'm pleased to be able to pay that help forward now that I'm doing so well myself,” says Teresa. She considers her role as an MS Ambassador for her chapter and the MS movement, her facilitating a self-help group, her captaining the Walk MS Team OptiMStic, her being a member of the National Programs Advisory Council for the Society since 2006 and her being a guest presenter at each of the National MS Society National Conferences since 2003 just part of that pay-forward.
When Teresa learned what Pat had done for her, she couldn't help sharing with all those around her that nothing has ever meant as much to her as winning Clay Walker's guitar and even more - that Pat won it for her. “Clay's new song Fall epitomizes for me how Pat has always been there for me with my MS.,” says Teresa “When I first heard Clay sing Fall, I swore it was written about us.” Ironically, Teresa's first introduction to Clay was at a Society National Conference when he was recognized for his service to the MS movement. Then when Teresa saw him perform at the National Conference the following year, she was hooked. She and Pat now own all his CDs and saw him again when he performed in Lynden, Washington (a mere 3-1/2 hours from home).