For Bob Granito, the personal obstacles he conquers during a 12-mile Tough Mudder® are harsher than the challenges of a 16-foot-high wall, dangling live wires, or a water pit. A veteran participant of 10 Tough Mudders, the 55-year-old Freehold resident demonstrates that his multiple sclerosis (MS) does not define what he can accomplish.
“I do these events because I refuse to let MS beat me,” Bob says. “My goals are to bring awareness to this disease and to let others who are afflicted know that a wheelchair is not a predetermined fate.”
Diagnosed in 2011 at CentraState’s Linda E. Cardinale MS Center, Bob follows a treatment plan that includes injections of an MS disease-modifying medication; an exercise regimen of running, bicycling, and lifting weights; nutrition supplements; and evaluations three times a year at the MS Center.
“Our center is large and growing, with 2,000 patients currently under our care using state-of-the-art treatments that stop MS relapses, modify disease progression, and manage symptoms,” says Amos Katz, MD, a board-certified neurologist and medical director of the MS Center. “Our robust clinical trials program is evaluating a host of promising new therapies for their safety and effectiveness.”
Bob feels fortunate that a world-class MS Center is located right in his own hometown for his ongoing care.
“I’m carefully following Dr. Katz’s treatment plan to deter the possibility that my MS may progress,” Bob says. “I want to make sure that MS is only an inconvenience to me, and not a debilitating disease.”
Promising Treatments and Support Services
The Linda E. Cardinale MS Center’s interdisciplinary team of specialists includes neurologists, a nurse coordinator, registered nurses, rehabilitation therapists, dietitians, social workers, and home care personnel. The MS Center offers the following services to help treat patients with MS:
- Immunomodulators/disease-modifying therapies
- Intrathecal baclofen (a muscle relaxant medication administered into the spinal fluid)
- Bowel and bladder management
- VitalStim® therapy for swallowing disorders
- MRI and neurologic tests
- Cognitive tests and training
- Physical, occupational, speech, and aquatic therapy
- Balance, muscular, and urologic evaluations
- Patient and family support, education, and wellness programs