Mission Stadiums for Multiple Sclerosis

My MS Story

My MS Story: “I Have MS”, by David Haight

My Multiple Sclerosis Story

“I Have MS”

By David Haight


I have MS. Relapsing-Remitting MS, to be specific. I’m a 52 year old dad to three great kids (Marisa – 23, Dominic – 19, and Natalie – 18). Michelle is my beautiful wife and soul mate of 25 years. I have two dogs, Doby (after Larry Doby) and Louie (after Lou Gehrig). I go to work, I go to church. I grew up in a great family – playfully annoying my older sister sometimes and dreaming of pitching in the big leagues while playing catch with my dad each day. I didn’t end up making it to the majors, but I did love pitching for my college ball team. I find solace in baseball. I am reminded I am no longer the ball player I used to be; actually, I still am in my mind and heart – but that’s another story.

My MS journey began long before I was diagnosed. Around twelve years ago when I would jog around the neighborhood school track, or take Doby for his daily long walk, I noticed my vision would become very blurry. I will never forget that July day, a typical hot humid Michigan summer day, while I walked toward a nearby main intersection, my vision was so poor I was fearful of losing my sight. I promptly saw my then family doctor and went through a battery of tests. Eye exams and heart stress tests showed absolutely nothing. With things inconclusive, the doctor dismissed my symptoms. I wasn’t sure what to make of my vision issues and ended up changing my habits – short walks with Doby and only when the weather was cool (early morning or evening). I didn’t exert myself and things seemed to somewhat “improve”. Years passed. My vision issues, unaddressed, did not disappear. I noticed in addition to blurriness on my daily dog walks or jogs around the track, that there was an imbalance in my step. It was a new strange addition to my anomalies. Unhappy with my doctor’s lack of interest – I found a new family doctor who wanted me to have an MRI.

That MRI, done five years ago, identified lesions throughout my brain and spine. My family doctor referred me to a neurologist who formally diagnosed me. It was the week before Michelle and I were to leave to Italy for an anniversary vacation. I was unsettled. Dr. Beattie offered me what felt like a buffet of various treatment options, many oral medicine choices. I was overwhelmed and the more online research I did, the more concerned I became. I decided on a second opinion, and met the most fantastic Detroit neurologist, Dr. Omar Khan. He recommended Gilenya. I used to joke that Dr. Kahn, who has since passed away, became a neurologist just so he could have me as a patient. He put me at ease. He spoke in terms that my logical baseball-oriented mind could understand. Most importantly, he knew his stuff and his patient. Factual demeanor helped me to see all that life still was and promised to be—beyond a diagnosis. Gilenya continues to work well for me and my follow-up appointments show it “calms” the existing legions and keeps new ones at bay. My new neurologist, affectionately referred to in our family as “Dr. G”, is also wonderful. She’s quite knowledgeable and patient in her care of me. Best of all, her husband is a former ballplayer as well and we talk baseball during every visit.

I experience the common symptoms of MS. I get depression sometimes, although it is short lasting. I am helped when I recognize the depression as an “MS” thing – and I often will say that aloud to myself or any nearby family member. It amazes me how recognizing the depression as unexplainable and irrational does put it into perspective. Telling myself that the feeling will probably be gone by the morning does work for me. Not that it makes the depression any less real, but it does help me cope. My walk is not always straight, but most people would not notice I have MS just by seeing my gait. I sometimes veer left or veer right and joke to myself when I stumble slightly. I have fallen twice and each time I can pinpoint that I was dealing with severe emotional stress at the time. It’s amazing how stress can impact any disease, especially MS. I don’t think I could run the bases very straight these days, but my family is always there to support me with loving concern as they respond to my imbalanced stride. If I turn too quickly and stumble, I will lovingly point a finger at whoever is near. “Hey!” I may say, “I got this!” Their response? Usually I hear something funny and supportive, such as, “Are you dancing?” or “We got you too!” Michelle coined a phrase early on in my diagnosis, – “You’re like an airplane. You just have trouble with your take-offs (getting up from a sitting position) and landings (sitting from a standing position).” Again, I keep things in perspective. It’s amazing what a clear, positive outlook can do for any challenge one is faced with.

My ability to play baseball may not still be what it used to, but my love and interest in the beauty of the game is alive and well! I really thrive on the support of the MS4MS group. I love the mission of MS4MS. One of my life goals is to visit each MLB park and see a game. So far, I’ve been to twelve parks and counting. I may not reach all of them, but when I travel with my family I always visit the local stadium with my MS4MS shirt in tow. I am proud of who I am today. I am proud of the example I set for my children and others who deal with this disease. I will continue to see the glass as half-full and I treasure all of the special people I have met along my MS journey. This summer MS4MS comes to my home ballpark and team. I’m so excited to have MS4MS at Comerica Park with the Detroit Tigers on Saturday, August 10th. Hopefully, I’ll see you there.


Written by
David Haight


Edited by
Garrett Owen


  • Dad says:

    I am so blessed and proud to have you for my son. This writing is weiten proof that God answers prayer. Love you

  • Karin Richner says:

    Thank you for your candor and personal insights of your MS story. The positive outlook from you and every member of your family is an inspiration to all of us.

  • Gloria saladino says:

    Thinking you David, your story is awesome and You GOT THIS… I HAD MY MENTOR HE HAD MS ALSO. AND IS NO GONE. but not to ms he had a heartattack.. He was a great man, im with you 100%. If you need anything let me know..

  • Gary Bussa says:

    Dave is an amazing man, completely devoted to his family and his faith. His positive outlook impacts anyone who comes into his orbit. I am blessed to call him my friend and I am a much better person because he is in my life. Thanks for being the man you are, Dave, an inspiration in not only how you handle this disease, but in how you live your life. God Bless!

  • M Bray-Cotton says:

    Dave, we are so proud of you! We have know you & your wonderful family for many years.
    You’re an inspiration to us all. Thank you for being so brave and writing this article it truly puts things into perspective!

  • tony gallucci says:

    Way to go Dave! and you never mentioned how good you are at meat smoking! I know you wont ever put baseball aside, but you have a second career making that great brisket!

  • Kim says:

    You’re amazing

  • Dan Hoag says:

    Dave, I am glad you shared this story, your story. I’m sorry that you have to deal with MS but it is great to hear you are enjoying life and even find humor during moments when your experiencing symptoms in spite of everything it puts you through. When people talk of their own personal life and some of the reality of what we go through it provides a sense of community. None of us are perfect and most if not all of us have our own personal struggles, some big and some not so big but what makes the story better (inspiring to some I am sure) is when you find that the person is not giving up. That they at the very least are dealing with it the best way they know how and moving forward. Its also nice to see that you still enjoy baseball and that it is giving you something in return. Baseball is a special game for me too. I was never great at playing but I always enjoying watching. It provides a relaxing (even comforting) experience for me at the same time as there are exciting moments during the game too. Nothing quite like it in my opinion. After a long or stressful day at work the thought of watching a ball game is very welcoming and has helped me to decompress from the stresses of life from time to time. I wish you and your family happiness and peace. Thank you again for sharing your story, take care.
    Dan Hoag

  • J Pribble says:

    What an amazing story. I remember you taking me under your wing as a colleg baseball player. You were so wise and had a manager’s mind. Thanks for bringing light to this disease and this organization. All the best and my prayers are with you and your family!

    JJ Pribbs

  • Ellen DiNardo says:

    Dave, What beautiful words you have written. It helps to have Michelle at your side who is so positive always. I will pass on this MS 4 MS group to my patients and close friend of mine with a niece who has MS.


  • The O’Connor family says:

    Great story and a great perspective on dealing with this disease. This has got to help others that also are in the fight! Your competitiveness as an athlete shows in your battle with MS and that, plus your attitude, shows that this is a opponent that will not defeat you! We are proud as a family to consider you and yours to be part of our family! Keep your chin up and keep knocking it out of the park!

  • Marisa says:

    David… your story truly touched my heart Even though I have never met you… reading your story makes me feel close to you like I really know you now. By telling your story you are helping people who are going through changes they can’t explain maybe address some of their concerns. Also for those already diagnosed that fear the future, you may have eased their minds about M S. What you have accomplished in your life confirms you can live a good life with the right treatment plan and a supportive family . Thank-you for sharing your story David. God Bless you and your family! Hope to meet you one day After all we are family, and family always sticks together!

  • Jen Robertson says:

    So well written and inspirational, thank you so much for sharing your story!!!

  • Karen Muzljakovich says:

    Dave, our family had no idea. We do know that your family has been an incredible example to us and so many others. We will be adding you and your family to our prayers!

  • Dave Haight says:

    It was so nice to hear from you. I have such great memories of coaching with Dan. I really appreciate your prayers! Would love to catch up with your family when all this crud passes.

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