Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1966, writer Trevis L. Gleason had lived a life many would consider quite full by the time he was diagnosed with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis in 2001 at the age of 35.
Trevis is a decorated U.S. Coast Guard veteran; he was the youngest person named Coast Guardsman of the Year at the Service’s annual Coast Guard Festival in August 1986. After nearly seven years as an accomplished navigator for the Coast Guard, Gleason plotted a new course in the culinary world.
Studying at the New England Culinary Institute under Chef Michel LeBorgne (No Crying In The Kitchen, Public Press, 2009), Gleason once again excelled, representing the school at the prestigious “Salute To Excellence” event held by the National Restaurant Association in 1992. Honing his culinary skills in professional kitchens around New England and New York, Gleason settled into what he expected to be a nice, long position at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration in 1995.
Within three years, however, Gleason was named as a Goodwill Ambassador to the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). During his time in Ukraine, Gleason put his new-found love of artisan bread baking to use as he helped several farmers/owners of local bread bakeries increase their production without adding labor or expense. He also helped establish a cooperative granary and mill for the local farmers with the help of international financing and the UN’s World Bank.
Upon his return to the United States, Chef Trevis moved to San Francisco to take a directorial position with the California Culinary Academy where he opened and ran several cooking schools for the Academy. He later joined a German foodservice equipment manufacturer and frequently traveled around North America and Europe.
All of this changed in April 2001 when years of misdiagnosed ailments and ignored symptoms finally culminated in a stroke-like episode which led to his multiple sclerosis diagnosis, and Gleason was forced to retire. But, with the help of a world-class medical team, old friends, passionate people working to cure the disease, and those living with MS until that cure is found, Gleason has turned to a bigger, more important stage.
Trevis Gleason is now a leading voice for people with MS. His award-winning blog, “Trevis L. Gleason’s Life with MS,” is one of the longest running, most widely read and respected blogs about MS, and earned him the #1 Online Influence ranking on the topic in 2012. He writes regular blog posts for the MS Society of the United Kingdom as well as for the National MS Society and is editor of the “MS & Me” Blog for MS Ireland. His opinions are sought after by elected officials and non-profit leaders. He is also a food journalist, and his recently published book, “Chef Interrupted” has received rave reviews.
Trevis divides his time between Seattle, Washington and County Kerry, Ireland with his wife Caryn, and their two Irish Wheaten Terriers, Sadie and Maggie.