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“I put the barrel of the revolver to my head. As I placed my finger on the trigger, I’m looking at my daughter’s first grade photo through ‘my mind’s eye.’ I could see her looking at me and I thought, ‘If you pull the trigger, you’re not going to kill yourself, you’re going to kill that kid. Do you want to kill her?’ I put the gun down. At that moment I decided to embrace the fight to stay alive.”
In the early 1980s, Tony Lombardo was leading a “fairly regular” life. Married, a couple of kids, and enjoying the rhythm of life as most young fathers do. Nothing could have prepared him for what was about to become a slow, painful descent.
It began one morning with double vision. Over time, it slowly progressed into loss of motion in his left side. Over the next several long years, the loss of all fine motor skills progressed with the exception of his right hand. Tony was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). He had gone from a high school varsity cross-country athlete to a man confined to a motorized wheelchair without warning, and without the prospect of a cure.
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