Mike Furey was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) at the age of 26 after experiencing sensations of numbness throughout his body. MS is a chronic, typically progressive disease involving damage to the sheaths of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, whose symptoms may include numbness, impairment of speech and of muscular coordination, blurred vision, and severe fatigue. Mike first started feeling the symptoms of MS after waking up one morning after some intense PT sessions at his new job with the National Security Agency. The numbness started in his feet end eventually crept higher and higher up his body. Eventually he got to the point where he was numb from the neck down, but eventually improved over time. However, Mike was told by his doctor that the exercise initially brought on his symptoms (not actually true). After his doctor told him this, Mike made a negative association with exercise, which was completely out of character because of his background in law enforcement and as a college basketball player and he rarely talked about his condition.
In this episode Mike talks about the thoughts, feelings and emotions he experienced after his MS Diagnosis. It took about 4 years of being nervous to exercise for Mike to realize that he didn't want to live like that anymore. His passion for mud races began with one of the first Tough Mudder races in 2010 with one of his co-workers. The sense of accomplishment became addicting for Mike. Eventually, his wife told him about a MuckFest that raises money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Mike started a team for the New Jersey MS MuckFest in 2012 and since became ambassador for the race, which is a far cry from being afraid to exercise and being secretive about having MS. 2016 marks the fifth year of team "Filth & Furey" and they have raised close to $50,000 during this time.
In addition he talks about his basketball career and the life lessons he learned from being a "late bloomer" and playing on losing teams. There is a lot to be learned from this episode no matter if you are an athlete or not. I am proud to say that I have joined team Filth & Furey for the 2016 MuckFest in New Jersey on June 25th and 26th. Join the team, register your own or donate at the links below!