Working For Your Health


"Quitting is not an option," Local man with MS refuses to let it define him

Greg Webb
Posted at 10:08 AM, Mar 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-21 16:55:52-04

PASADENA, Md. — Greg Webb was about 38-years-old, happily married, a father of two and enjoying his free time on the baseball field when all of a sudden he started to feel not quite like his normal self.

"I felt a little stressful. Just the anxiety of the game about to start. And I started experiencing the best way I could describe it as a two or three beer buzz. And I came home to Michelle and said something is really happening and I’m not sure what it is," said Greg.

Greg continued to feel a bit off but decided that he was probably just aging. 40 was around the corner and his body was simply changing. That turned out not to be the case.

"I went to my general practitioner. He recommended an MRI and the MRI showed lesions on the brain and spine. From there we visited the neurologist who did the spinal tap and from my understanding and our understanding, a doctor will not 100 percent diagnose Multiple Sclerosis. It's always we're 99.9 percent sure you have MS but we’re not going to go full fledged. But we’re going to start you on the treatments. So that’s where it all starts. From 2007 until now. Three doctors later and three medications later. That's where our journey started," said Greg.

From the day of the diagnoses, Greg says his wife Michelle has been his biggest supporter.

"Anybody that knows Greg knows that he never quits. He never complains. He doesn’t let the disease dictate his life but as time goes on, and it’s been hard watching the progression of the disease because even though he has that mindset it's just taking things away from him physically. And he’s a physical guy. So it's been a real challenge. It’s been really hard. I can’t imagine being in the situation myself that he deals with every day. I look at him, he’s the strongest person I know. I just admire how he keeps going," said Michelle

For Greg, the neurological disease hasn't changed who he is as a person but it has caused him to make adjustments.

"I love the outdoors so I’ve had to adjust my activities outdoors. I love doing yard work. Anything that used to take me an hour takes me four hours to do it now. It's just adjustments and scheduling. Hobbies. Like I said I used to play baseball. Obviously, I can’t play baseball. Now I fish because it’s not quite as active," said Greg.

When Greg was diagnosed in 2007, there was an abundance of information to sort through.

"I ended up typing it in 'How do you explain Multiple Sclerosis to children' because I felt like a child at that point. I just needed a simple explanation and so first it was really just a well what does this really mean?" said Michelle.

At that moment the Webb's decided not to live in the land of what ifs, but to live in the now. They simply weren't going to let MS define their family. In 2009, they decided to grow their family and turn their party of four into a party of five, plus a few lively pets.

The first four years after the diagnoses of MS, the Webb family saw small changes in Greg's Mobility and the medicine he was prescribed seemed to be working. In 2011, the stress of his highly demanding job began to take its toll. It was then that Greg decided it was time to leave the workforce and become a stay at home dad. Taking care of three young children was no easy feat, but it did allow for more flexibility. Now ages, 9, 12 and 14, Greg says his children have developed a sense of empathy that is beyond their years.

"They look at times and see if they need to help. He fell in the garage last week and Liam faced timed him thankfully and Liam came and helped him get up... I think it's made our kids better people. I wish this wasn’t the way to do it. I wish this wasn’t the path to that but I think our children see the world through a different lens. They see the world and thinking about others a little differently. People with disabilities and limitations and I think they’ve also been given a role model of somebody who fights something that's devastating every single day and still shows up for them and doesn’t quit," said Michelle.

While his family and friends call Greg an inspiration, for him it's just his nature.

"It was just the way I was raised. I go to the gym three to four times a week and at least twice a week people say that its inspirational. Quitting is not an option. People are like aww its tough for you and I’m like no there's somebody that has it tougher. That's just the way I look at it. It could be worse and somebody has it worse," said Greg.

For Michelle, it's been hard watching her husband battle the disease, but she's doing everything she can to be his support and work with the National MS Society to help raise funds that will hopefully one day lead to a cure.

"I do hope that people can hear his story. I do hope that people can get hope for the way you can look at it. Clearly, there’s pain and its hard. Some days it’s harder than others but he’s doing it and its amazing," said Michelle.