Donna Fargo was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1978

by Danielle Price

Donna Fargo is a fantastically successful country star. She was most commonly known for her #1 hit ‘The Happiest Girl in Whole U.S.A’.

This song brought her to the top of the Country Music Industry overnight.

Donna was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1978, and she overcame her trials, but not without difficulty. She once stated, “[I] made a new contract with the Lord. He says that if you believe, He will take away all your stresses and worries…[as for the rest] that’s His job.” This is her story.

 

Donna Fargo was born in Mount Airy, North Carolina, on November 10, 1945, her given name was Yvonne Vaughan. Donna attended both High Point College and the University of Southern California. Once she graduated she began working as a high school teacher in Covina, California. She eventually became the head of the English Department.

Donna met Stan Silver in California and he became her manager and she began performing in clubs. In 1966 they went to Phoenix, Arizona and she adopted the name Donna Fargo. There, she recorded her first single. Stan and Donna were married in 1968.

Then, in 1969 Fargo was named the Top New Female Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music Awards. In 1972 Donna’s song ‘The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.’ hit the top of the country charts. She then won a Grammy Award for the Best Female Country Vocal Performance and was named the Top Female Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music Awards. She then recorded the song “Funny Face” and it exceeded the first song, it was another #1 country hit. She followed up with two more #1 hits, “Superman” and “You Were Always There”.

Donna began noticing problems when she felt numbness on her left side. She suffered severe back pains and a tightening in her leg muscles that left her nearly paralyzed from the neck down. But the doctors weren’t able to make a diagnosis until June 1978, when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She was 32 years old. At first Donna said that she was ‘terrified’, hit bottom and cried for two weeks.

Stan Silver was by her side and she felt an immense amount of support and prayers from those around her. She began to fight back “The hospital chaplain came by every day to ease my fears and psychic pain.” She found that “I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was. I’ve learned what it’s like to go through hell and come out the other end”.

At the time of her diagnosis the most common treatment for MS was rest, and that was difficult for Donna to accept. She took a two-week retreat to a condo in Aspen where she felt liberated.

Donna stated “Every day is precious now”.

She learned “to take things easier physically and not to get involved in more that I can do easily-and well.” She was back by 1979. She hosted her own TV series in the late 70’s, but it was short-lived. She continued to record albums and singles, although she didn’t have as much success as she did in the 70’s. She continued to perform and tour all over the world until 2008.

Now Donna has produced a successful line of greeting cards called ‘The Donna Fargo Collection’ and has written poetry and books. Some of the titles include, ‘Friends are Forever’, ‘Ten Golden Rules for Living in this Crazy, Mixed-Up World’, and ‘I Thanked God for You Today’.

About the author:
Danielle Price was 9 years old when her mom was diagnosed with MS. She graduated with a bachelors degree in Child and Family Development from Southern Virginia University. Dani is happily married to a wonderful husband of 5 years and dedicates her time to nurture and raise her two beautiful daughters. Dani is a talented singer, enjoys music and participates in the community.

Linda

About our Co-Founder: With a bachelors in Social Work, Linda is 53 years old, happily married with eight children and 17 grandchildren. Diagnosed with MS in 1995 and now having accepted and truly embraced her new reality, Linda has created MSrelief.com. She is dedicated to proving that joy can be chosen while living with Multiple Sclerosis. Linda specializes in helping others, especially those with MS attain the lifestyle, independence and happiness amid living with MS.

One Comment:

  1. DONNA, I HAVE MS ..IT WAS FOUND IN 1995 . THEY SAID I HAVE HAD IT FOR ABOUT 30 YEARS WHEN THEY FOUND IT.. I HAVE A VERY WEAK LEFT SIDE NO FEELING IN LEG LEG AT ALL, AND LEFT HAND IS TRYING TO MAY A BALL, BUT I HAVE NOT LET IT YET.. I AM TRYING VERY HARD TO NOT LET IT GET DOWN.. I AM 68, A MOTHER OF ONE NOW. MY SON DIED LAST YEAR OF CANCER. HE LASTED 44 DAYS.. I HAVE MY DAUGHTER TO TO HELP ME IF I ASK HER, WHICH I DAON;T LIKE TOO AS SHE IS WORKING A LOT AND IS TRIED AT THE END OF THE DAY.. I HAVE HAD EYE TROUBLE , NOW MY RIGHT SIDE IS TRYING TO JERK ME AROUND.. BUT I ALWAYS SAY I MAY HAVE MS BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE M. NO MEDS WILL HELP ME NOW.. SO I STAY STRONG AND PRAY WITH GOD TO HE WILL ME STAY STRONG.. I AM SO GLAD TO HEAR HER YOU R STILL ABLE TO WORD WITH YOUR MUSIC. MAY GOD BLESS U AND KEEP U STRONG.. A FRIEND, PATTY

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