The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Features

April 5, 2014

'I'm at peace with it'

(Continued)

“I think learning how to operate a computer and how to communicate with that helps people to stay in touch with friends and family,” Greg said. “So that’s kind of my mission now.”

Greg is lucky to have a home that is set up to deal with his multiple sclerosis. Several years ago, friends raised money and donated their time to remodel his home. He also is able to operate parts of his home, such as his television and lights, with voice commands.

“For someone who can’t do anything, those little things can make a better quality of life,” Greg said.

Greg enjoys using his computer. He spends a lot of time communicating to people outside of his home and composing his music. Several pieces of technology allow him to do this.

On Greg’s glasses, there is a piece of reflective tape which is picked up by a SmartNav camera mounted on the top of his computer monitor. By moving his head, he can use a cursor. He also uses Dragon, speech recognition software, to open browser windows, type documents and send emails.

The BAT Fund works to provide this and other types of programs to people with a need.

“Staying in contact with the outside world, that is so good for your heart and your psyche and therefore, for your physical health,” Greg said.

Greg attributes his good outlook and life to his family and friends, including his mother, sister and friend Brent Tinderholt. His sister and Tinderholt each come bring him dinner at least one night a week and help him wash and brush his teeth. He also has a live-in caregiver, Katie Simon, and a day-time care giver, Beth McGovern.

“It’s cliche, but you truly find what type of friends you have when you get this,” Greg said.

Greg is also spending his time with the new MS support group, formed by Tami Leavens last year.

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