For Q106-F.M. personality Matt “Mojo” Lersch, Selma Blair’s first public appearance since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis hit home.
Blair appeared at the Oscars after-party with a bedazzled cane. The 46-year-old actress was diagnosed with M.S. in August.
Mojo, who’s battled the disease for more than a decade, said for him, it’s in the spotlight every day. But he added Blair sparking the conversation is important for those affected by M.S.
“We don’t know anything about something until somebody starts talking about it,” he said. “I thought it was great. I think it’s courageous. I think it’s important that people that may be affected by neuromuscular disease are out there talking about it.”
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, M.S. causes the body to attack its own tissues. Mojo says the disease affects everyone differently.
“Initially, I had no feeling whatsoever from my waste down,” he said. “And it was an odd thing because my legs were dragging, and it took a lot out of me. Plus my eyes were pointed in opposite directions.”
Mojo says he’s doing well overall, but the disease flares up from time to time. He says since he was diagnosed, public perception has changed, particularly when it comes to awareness.
“Knowing and seeing it in real time, out at the M.S. walk, being involved at the M.S. bike ride, that’s a big deal,” he said. “And seeing the number of people that come out and support that. it grows every year, and I think that’s key. It means that we’re creating awareness, and it means more lives are being touched.”