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Book details
  • SubGenre:Diseases / Nervous System
  • Language:English
  • Pages:152
  • eBook ISBN:9781543982374
  • Paperback ISBN:9781543982367

Living Well With Multiple Sclerosis

A Comprehensive Travel Guide

by Thomas Holtackers

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It has often been said that it is not the destination, it is the journey. The author's journey with multiple sclerosis spans over 50 years during which he has made many changes along the way to acclimate to the destructive nature of the disease. His book is a guide for people with MS to obtain a positive way of life while living with the disease.
The author's four decade career as a physical therapist at Mayo Clinic while simultaneously living with MS and volunteering with the National MS Society provided him with experiences to positively cope with the disease. He describes in detail ways to develop wellness through emotional growth, cognitive adaptation and fitness strategies. People with multiple sclerosis and other chronic diseases along with caregivers and healthcare providers will benefit greatly from his insight.
About the author
Thomas R. Holtackers received his bachelor of arts in health, physical education, and recreation from Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, and a degree in physical therapy from the Mayo Clinic Physical Therapy Program in Rochester, Minnesota. He completed the coursework for professional development in the Counselor Education Program at Winona State College, Winona, Minnesota, and was a staff physical therapist at Rochester Mayo Clinic for over forty-two years. His work during those years included treating critically ill patients in intensive care units, patients with multiple sclerosis in the inpatient rehabilitation unit, and patients with upper extremity problems in the hand therapy department. He was the patient education specialist for the physical medicine and rehabilitation department in the section of patient education. He was a clinical and classroom instructor at the Mayo School of Health Sciences Physical Therapy Program. Tom is a former college athlete and high school health/physical education teacher and football and track coach. He has had multiple sclerosis for over forty-five years. Tom is a former wheelchair athlete having participated in wheelchair basketball and road racing. Tom was an active fundraiser for the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National MS Society, having participated in local MS walks for over twenty-five years, and is a ten-year "sole survivor" of the 50 Mile Challenge Walk, which he completed in a hand-cycle. He has been a volunteer with the National MS Society for over forty years, serving in various capacities at the national and chapter levels. His involvement included teaching water and land exercise classes, facilitating self-help groups, training self-help group leaders, serving on chapter programs and medical advisory committees, and being a member of the Upper Midwest Chapter's board of trustees. He has given many talks throughout the Upper Midwest states on physical fitness, management of MS symptoms including fatigue, spasticity, muscle weakness, and bladder dysfunction and coping with the psychosocial and sexuality aspects of MS. He was a member of the National MS Society's National Programs Advisory Council, the Assisted Living Task Force, the Strategic Response Goal Steering and Implementation Teams, and the Midwest Regional Volunteer Leadership Council. The author was also active in the American Physical Therapy Association on the state and national levels, the Mayo Clinic Physical Therapy Program Alumni Association, and the Rochester Center for Independent Living, and was a member of the Minnesota Governor's Council on Disability. In addition to many MS Society local chapter awards, such as the Norman Cohen "Hope" Award, Tom was inducted into National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Volunteer Hall of Fame in 1999, was highly honored as the recipient of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's 2010 National Volunteer of the Year, and in 2014 was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for over thirty-five years of volunteering. Tom was the recipient of the Corrine Ellingham Outstanding Physical Therapist Award from the Minnesota American Physical Therapy Association, and the Dale Schaffer Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Mayo Clinic Physical Therapy Program Alumni Association. Tom presently resides in Mesa, Arizona, with his wife, Anne, and volunteers for the Arizona Chapter of the National MS Society.