Jack Osbourne: Living With Multiple Sclerosis
(NEW YORK) — Two months after receiving the shocking diagnosis that he has multiple sclerosis, Jack Osbourne says he is doing “pretty good.”
The vision loss that caused doctors to diagnose the former reality-TV star and son of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne with the chronic disease has eased and the one-time partier, who spent time in rehab for drug and alcohol addiction, says he’s leading a new, cleaner life.
“Since starting medication my vision is coming back slowly and, other than that, no side effects,” Osbourne, 26, said today on ABC’s Good Morning America.
“It’s kind of manageable,” he said of MS, an autoimmune disease that can leave sufferers with mild problems, including lack of muscle control or struggles with vision and balance, to serious disability, including paralysis. “Once you kind of learn about it, it’s just a bit of lifestyle change and I can live with that.”
Helping Osbourne to face the disease is a celebrity ally, Montel Williams. The talk show host announced his own MS diagnosis in 1999 and went on to found The Montel Williams MS Foundation to raise funds for research.
“Montel has been a really great source of information because he’s so knowledgeable about MS,” Osbourne said. “He’s had it for a long time and he’s very active in the world so he’s kind of my go-to guy when anything comes up.”
When Osbourne first received his MS diagnosis, just weeks after his fiancé, Lisa Stelly, gave birth to the couple’s first child, Pearl Clementine, it was not Williams but another celebrity who came to his mind.
“I instantly thought Richard Pryor,” he said, referring to the late comedian whose MS left him confined to a wheelchair. “So I thought death sentence, that’s it. I’ll be in a wheelchair in a couple of years and game over.”
“But the more research you do, you know, unfortunately Richard Pryor had a bad case of MS. There’s different kind of classes of MS and he had the most aggressive,” Osbourne said. “I have relapsing-remitting MS. It’s the most common and the least aggressive.”
Osbourne’s diagnosis is allowing him to control the disease and its symptoms with lifestyle changes and his new “adapt and overcome” motto towards life.
“It’s stuff like minimize stress. Eat as healthily as you can. Get as much sleep as you can,” he said. “It’s kind of the recipe for good living.”
He’s also plowing ahead with his career, working on a new show called Haunted Highway for the SyFy channel and moving past the disappointment of being fired from a job he had booked just as he was diagnosed.
“I started a production company last year and we’re producing a show for NatGeo Wild called Alpha Dogs about guys who train dogs for the military and police,” he said. “And last year I did the documentary about my dad [God Bless Ozzy Osbourne] and that’s airing on Showtime.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio