Clay Walker is a country star who began his career working nights as a desk clerk at a Super 8 Motel. He first topped the Billboard country singles chart in 1993 with "What's It to You" and followed with his second consecutive No. 1 hit, "Live Until I Die." Since then he's placed 31 titles on Billboard's singles chart including such additional chart toppers as "Dreaming with my Eyes Open," "If I Could Make Living," "This Woman and This Man," and "Rumor Has It."
Walker founded the charityBand Against MS (BAMS) after he himself was diagnosed with the disease back in 1996. Ever since then he has been on a mission to help others facing the challenges of Multiple Sclerosis. BAMS is hoping to raise more funds and awareness with its new initiative Stick With It. For every action the public takes to promote awareness, including liking the Facebook Page or sharing their favorite Stick With It routine, Teva Pharmaceuticals will make a $1 corporate donation to Clay’s organization to help fund vital MS research (up to $25,000).
Interview Conducted Via Email By: Giacinta Pace
Q: What is your charity of choice and how did you become involved with it?
Clay: Band Against MS (BAMS), Inc. is a 501 (c) (3), or not-for-profit, public charity committed to providing educational information for those living with multiple sclerosis (MS), funding programs researching a cure for MS, and funding programs helping those living with the disease. I established BAMS in February 2003 because I wanted to help others living with the same disease I was diagnosed with in 1996.
Q: Why is this cause important to you?
Clay: After living for several years with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), the most common form of MS, I decided to DO something about it. The first thing that crossed my mind when I was diagnosed in April 1996 was, what exactly is MS? The truth is, not much is known about the cause of the disease. I created BAMS to launch a diligent battle to not only get answers, but also to help find solutions for a multitude of struggles that MS and RRMS patients go through on a regular basis.
Q: Do you have anything else to add?
Clay: Through my journey with RRMS, I have learned personally that it can be a tricky disease to manage because it affects everyone differently. It took me almost a year of working with my own neurologist to find the routine that worked best for me. A key part of BAMS’ is to provide educational resources to help patients make informed disease and lifestyle management decisions and to encourage others affected by this disease to do what I’ve done and work with your neurologist to find a groove that works for you and stick with it.