Kevin Goetz’s support of the National MS Society began shortly after his mother, Rhoda, was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis at age 48. Rhoda, like many others across the country, was faced with the reality of losing abilities she once had, having to use a wheelchair and being forced to stop working. Fortunately, the Society was there to put Kevin and his family in touch with the programs and services that would help Rhoda cope with the many effects of her disease, including her diminished income.
Eleven years after being diagnosed, Rhoda passed away from a sudden and catastrophic embolism. It was during this time of loss that Kevin’s fundraising for the Society—which had already included participating in Walk MS® annually—gathered significant momentum. He resolved to do all he could to help others with MS, and he would do it in memory of his dear mother.
"My heart breaks for those people around the country who have to go through what my mother went through early on,” says Kevin. “There was a time she had to call the police just to help her get off the toilet. People who have this disease need help to retain their dignity and independence. They need to know they can pick up the phone and call the National MS Society."
Kevin speaks very fondly of his mother as an active woman who loved to cook, shop, and take good care of herself. While coping with the effects of MS, Rhoda looked forward to her weekly trips to the beauty parlor where she would have her nails painted and hair done. It was at those times that Kevin’s mother saw a glimpse of her old self in the mirror and perked up with pride. This memory of his mother is what made Kevin decide to establish the Rhoda Goetz Foundation and work with the Society to start a personal care program for people with MS in 2005.
"I’ve heard so many stories of individuals we have helped through this program over the years and it’s so beautiful," says Kevin.
It’s because of exemplary donors like Kevin Goetz that the National MS Society can be a supportive partner to people affected by MS whenever and wherever they need it, as well as provide backing to researchers who are uncovering insights that could lead to new treatments. Kevin feels strongly about supporting MS research and believes that we could be on the edge of eliminating this disease forever. His personal commitment to solving MS is an important part of what allows the Society to continue its work. You are also part of this caring community of donors, and together, we are gaining the momentum needed to achieve our vision—a world free of MS.
Eager to further expand the impact of his giving, Kevin recently pledged $100,000 to help all people with MS retain their dignity and independence through customized support from a Society MS Navigator.