Montel Williams is a popular and well-known TV personality. Hosting his own talk show, The Montel Williams Show, he made it big. He became a Daytime Emmy award-winner and put his name on the charts. In 1999 his was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
Montel Williams was born in Baltimore, Maryland with 5 siblings. As soon as he graduated high school he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He impressed his superiors and was soon after admitted into the Naval Academy Preparatory School. He continued onto the U.S. Naval Academy where graduated with a degree in General Engineering. After serving 22 years in variety of positions Williams retired from the Navy and began his journey as a public speaker.
This public speaking eventually led him to The Montel Williams Show in 1991. He won a Daytime Emmy Award for his show. He starred in a few movies and had additional shows after The Montel Williams Show ended.
In 1999 Montel Williams was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. This same year Montel was also presented with a PRISM Award, receiving the Larry Stewart Leadership and Inspiration Award from the Entertainment Industries Council for being a role model for the entertainment industry.
When discussing his initial diagnosis he stated, “When the neurologist said those three words – “You have MS” – it hit me like a brick. I thought the diagnosis was a death sentence. I’d heard of multiple sclerosis, but I didn’t really know what it was. I knew it meant excruciating pain and that eventually I could lose control of my body. I also knew there was no cure. That was enough to plunge me into the depths of despair.”
He struggled with his diagnosis for the next few months. He even got to the point that he considered ending it all, but he knew he had people who loved and depended on him. He made the conscious choice to view his illness as a call to action, a chance to make a difference. He knew he had the ability to gather and relay the most up-to-date information available. He sought out experts at Harvard Medical School, traveled to Sweden for evaluation and treatment.
Although Williams was warned that disclosing his illness to the public could be damaging to his career he felt it was important for him to share his struggles with others. He then created The Montel Williams MS Foundation in order to raise funds for research. He is committed to raising awareness and wants to provide inspiration to those who have MS. He stated,
“The world needs to know the warning signs of MS and the treatment options available. The world needs to understand that many more people have MS than current data indicates. The world needs to mobilize against MS and knock it out for good. I believe to the depth of my soul that all of these goals can be achieved. It will take courage and commitment, but these are qualities we can help each other find in ourselves. I know we can build a future of hope and health, and together we’re going to win.”
In the year 2000 he created Mountain Movers Press. This publishing company was established to publish works for forward thinkers. Montel’s author royalties from his company’s first release went directly toward finding a cure for MS. He also wrote an autobiographical and motivational New York Times best seller, Mountain, Get Out of My Way. He also co-authored two best-selling fitness books.
In 2003 Williams was presented with the AFTRA Disability Awareness Award, New and Broadcasting. He has appeared on several television programs including JAG, All My Children, American Dreams and Touched by an Angel. He has also appeared off-Broadway in The Exonerated.
Montel continues to give back by educating individuals about healthy lifestyles. He has created his own Living Well Collection, and continues to encourage healthy living and fitness. He motivates and educate groups across the country. One of Montel’s favorite quotes by Winston Churchhill guides his life, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”
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.