Jack Osbourne’s first interview after MS diagnosis: “it’s not a death sentence”

I’m not sure how much interest there will be in this story, as a follow-up we did on Jack Osbourne’s MS diagnosis wasn’t that commented on. I have a personal interest in this as I’ve had medical issues in my life. So it’s fascinating to me and it seems like a big deal that a celebrity like Jack Osbourne is sharing his new diagnosis with the public. We know that Montel Williams has Multiple Sclerosis but this is the first time a celebrity has shared the news just a few weeks after they were diagnosed.

In an appearance on CBS’ The Talk yesterday, Jack joined his mom, panelist Sharon Osbourne, to discuss his condition and how he’s doing now. His fiance, Lisa Stelly, also came on to discuss how they’re doing. Jack and his family of course made the announcement of his disease to Hello! magazine, where Jack revealed that his mom and dad are taking the news much harder than he did. He seemed upbeat and positive on The Talk, and he explained MS very simply and well. I was impressed.

You can watch the full episode with Jack here. He’s on at the beginning. Here’s some of what he said:

On how he’s doing
Honestly, I’m fine. That’s the toughest thing with this disease that I’m learning, one minute you can be fine and the next I went blind in my right eye. It’s a completely unpredictable disease.

On how his eye is now
It’s back to about 80% [vision] now. They don’t know if it will ever improve beyond that, but everyone is different… it’s hit or miss.

His explanation of Multiple Sclerosis
I’ve only know about it for five weeks, so I’m not an expert yet. In layman’s terms… arthritis causes inflammation of the joints, but it’s kind of the arthritis of the nervous system, it causes inflammation of the nerves… which causes scarring, and that’s where long term effects occur. That’s where you see people, they’ll walk funny or they’ll have paralysis, loss of vision, slurred speech, things like that.

On signs he had prior to his diagnosis
I guess I’ve been having symptoms for the past three or four years and just not realized. If you look at the symptoms of MS it’s so random… I had like problems with my bladder, problems with my stomach and then about two years ago my legs went numb for like two months. I just thought I pinched a nerve. I could walk, but they were just numb and tingling [and] very sensitive…

On the incident that helped him get a diagnosis
I’d done some scuba diving on the show… and after that I got like a black spot on my eye… The next day I woke up and the black spot had turned into a black cigar shape. I thought it must be a migraine. The next day I lost most of my sense of vision. The following day I was more or less completely blind in that eye.

On having a new baby, Pearl
It’s been good because I haven’t been able to sit around and gloat. I’ve had to change diapers and stop the baby from crying.

On how he got a diagnosis
It’s very tricky to actually diagnose MS… I had to have some MRIs, and in the MRIs they saw scarring, and then I had a spinal tap… then they had to test me for lyme disease, which also has similar symptoms to MS.

MS is not a death sentence
That’s a huge misconception. People often think MS is Parkinsons or Muscular Dystrophy. It’s actually very manageable and people live normal [lives]… So little is known about it and that’s actually one of the reasons why I want to be somewhat vocal about it.

[From Jack Osbourne's appearance on The Talk, aired 6-20-12]

MS is one of those disease where people may look “fine,” but may be very tired, dizzy or having problems with vision or balance. When my son asks me why someone is using a motorized cart or is in a wheelchair I tell him we have no way to know how they feel just by looking at them. (Which is unfortunately something I had to experience personally to really “get,” you know?)

I’m touched by Jack story, and I know that it will go a long way toward educating people about this disease. I hope his health continues to improve. It’s clear that he has a lot of family and support around him.

In lighter news, Jack got the chance to promote his new show on the Syfy network, “Haunted Highway,” which premieres on July 3. It’s a paranormal reality show, where “Jack Osbourne & Dana Workman and Jael de Pardo & Devin Marble do their own first-person investigations of the most frightening claims of paranormal activity along America’s remote back roads.” It looks like a reality show version of The Blair Witch Project and it’s not my thing but some people love those shows. They just creep me out.

Lisa and Jack talk about their family and his diagnosis. [via Celebuzz]

photo credit: PRPhotos and WENN.com

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25 Responses to “Jack Osbourne’s first interview after MS diagnosis: “it’s not a death sentence””

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  1. Jayna says:

    He gave a great interview. He has really matured into a nice, young man.

  2. beyonce's bump says:

    good for him! He is going in with a very positive head “Adapt and Overcome”…My new addition to my positive mantra affirmation list!

  3. Justme says:

    I feel for him, even though I barely know who he is.

    My mother was diagnosed with MS in her early thirties. She had a truly awful case and did die of it in her early forties. It destroyed her ability to walk, talk and affected her brain. She was in a hospital bed for the last three years of her life.

    Everyone is affected by it differently of course. Ann Romney, the candidate’s wife has MS as well, but she seems to operate fairly well. Let’s hope Jack also has a mild case!

    • Susan says:

      I’m very sorry for your loss.

    • Bobbie says:

      I am sorry for your loss too. Did your mother have any cognitive impairment? That is really what we are starting to see in my father who has had MS for about 15 years- his symptoms used to be limited to physical (vision, gait) but now cognitive impairment. I am wondering how common that is.

      • Rachael says:

        I have a friend whose dad has MS and I think they (she and her husband) have mentioned to me that he forgets things. That’s the first time I had heard of the cognitive impairment symptoms with MS (but I’m certainly no expert).

      • Alexa says:

        Yes she did have cognitive impairment. That is what I meant by affecting her brain. She could no longer talk and I don’t know how much she understood of what we said. The thing is I have met many MS sufferers who have a far milder version. I hope that is the case for Jack and for your dad. It can be a terrible disease — I was only a teenager when she died and it was as though she had been gone for years before she physically died. My father was a saint and loved her to the end. Thankfully there is medication now which was not available when she was sick.

    • chaser says:

      I’m so sorry.

      It really is an illness that can treat people so differently.

  4. constant says:

    He sounds mature and well-spoken.
    I am glad that you covered this.

  5. AmyLynne says:

    His attitude vaguely reminds me of how Michael J. Fox is with his Parkinsons. I really admire both of them for adapting and not wallowing in despair for the rest of their days or something. Good for Jack!

  6. ZigZagZoey says:

    I felt awful for him when hearing this. He really does seem like a pretty good guy, and has a great attitude. Best of luck to you Jack!!

  7. Bobbie says:

    My father has MS too. He has primary progressive MS, which is different than occurence, remittance which it sounds like Jack has (i.e. the symptoms come and go or, in my father’s case, there’s just a slow decline). It is a hard disease and a spectrum disease, meaning some people have ot badly and some cases are mild. I’m thankful he spoke out, I like it. It is nice to know there is “an MS community.”

  8. I Choose Me says:

    Great interview. Always liked him best of the Osbornes. I know little about MS so I appreciate that he was able to clue us in in layman’s terms. I’m glad he has such a positive outlook. It’ll go along way to coping with an unpredictable disease that may be also severely debilitating.

  9. Violet says:

    Hats off to Jack, he’s dealing with diagnosis with remarkable maturity.

    • tripmom says:

      I agree! I haven’t seen or heard word of him really since the Osbournes’ show was on MTV, and I always thought he behaved like a spoiled little jag. I’m so impressed that he’s turned into a remarkable, humble, level headed young man. Good for him! I don’t even know him and I’m proud of him!

  10. Lisa says:

    Good for him. You’ve come a long way, baby!

  11. J Bird says:

    Forgive me, I do like the entire Osbourne family, but enough already with the whoa is me… I got fired over MS. I hate when celebrities bitch and complain like they have some special rights or privileges. This crap happens to the everyday guy all the time, but he doesn’t have the multi-million dollar family fortune to fall back on. If you really want to be a role model and represent MS, no crying, no whining, and no pity parties… Thanks.

    • tripmom says:

      I don’t think anyone could accuse him of crying, whining, or inviting anyone to a pity party. To me it sounds like he’s just presenting information about his disease in a straightforward manner so that people understand it better.

    • Emily says:

      He doesn’t seem to be looking for pity at all. And firing someone because they were diagnosed with MS sounds illegal.

  12. stop the madness says:

    I hope he can manage his MS well. He has a great support system.

  13. Mandy says:

    I really like how mature he seems to be.

    To be honest, he’s absolutely right. MS is no death sentence nowadays. The treatment has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Even 8 years ago there were many people who were diagnosed after yearlong suffering. Nowadays you can get the diagnosis within just some weeks.
    The medication can start immediately and it’s quite succesful. The earlier you start, the more damage can be prevented. People diagnosed like 10 years ago were diagnosed when they couldn’t walk any longer, so the damage done to that point couldn’t be reversed. When you were diagnosed like 20 years ago ou just didn’t get a treatment and it happened quite often that those people were tired all the time, spoke slurring, couldn’t walk, whatever.
    But fortunately time has changed. Those suffering the form Jack Osbourne has, have a quite good chance to live a nearly as good life as anyone else.
    My doctors even encouraged me to have my second child…unthinkable 20 years ago.

    Really great that he spoke so open about it and raised awareness for a disease whicht still needs to be researched for a lot.

  14. leslilly says:

    I can’t wait to see the interview. I like the Osbournes. I heard that Ozzie was misdiagnosed w/MS, so hopefully they’ll get at least one more opinion. I have a lot of medical issues as well and have had symptoms of MS. We’ll just have to see what happens.

  15. msw says:

    Good luck, Jack.

  16. Shan Devine says:

    While it was great they tested him for Lyme, I am betting no one told him how inaccurate the regular tests are.

    He should see an LLMD. He should never ever take steroids (like prednisone) as it could make him way worse. Check ILADS for more info. I am not associated with anyone selling anything for Lyme. I just happen to know the disease very well unfortunately.

    There is a new culture much more accurate but costly. Came out new in October last year I think. Google Lyme or Borrelia Culture. He could afford it. Prove me wrong (and others saying the same thing) once and for all. :)

    Good luck all with MS/Lyme/other chronic diseases.