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Playing Hard: 3 Professional Athletes with MS

By Daryl H. Bryant (599 words)
Posted in Living with MS on August 20, 2014

There are (5) comments permalink

Playing Hard: 3 Professional Athletes with MS

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that does not discriminate and affects individuals of all ages, races and professions. While a diagnosis of MS can seem devastating, it does not have to stop you from living your life to the fullest and following your dreams. The following list of three professional athletes with MS proves that not only can individuals that suffer from MS lead normal, healthy lives but that they are also only limited by the scope of their imagination and ambition.

Josh Harding
Josh Harding is the goaltender for the Minnesota Wild hockey team. He started his professional career playing for the Houston Aeros in the American Hockey League in 2004. In 2006, he was moved to the Minnesota Wild hockey team. He was diagnosed with MS officially in November of 2012 after having kept the disease a secret for over a month. He has been playing with the NHL and the Minnesota Wild since his move to the team and Harding has received multiple awards during his career.       Rather than letting MS affect his performance, outlook or career, Josh Harding went on to have the best season of his career in the 2012-2013 year. Harding was the recipient of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 2013. He also is the founder of a charity, called Harding's Hope, that helps patients of MS pay for necessary medications.

Chris Wright
Chris Wright is a professional basketball player that currently plays for ASVEL Basket in the French league. Following his diagnosis, Wright became the first player in the history of the NBA known to have MS. Chris Wright has played for a number of teams including the New Orleans Hornets, the Iowa Energy and the Mavericks. He also played basketball in Turkey as part of the Turkish Basketball League. Wright was told while playing in Turkey, immediately following his diagnosis that his career was over. He was determined not to let his disease hold him back and went on to spend a season with the Dallas Mavericks. He also signed short-term contracts with the San Antonio Spurs and the Brooklyn Nets before signing his current contract with the ASVEL Basket in France. Wright credits being an athlete and living a healthy, active lifestyle to a major part of his success in managing MS.

Kelly Sutton
NASCAR driver Kelly Sutton was diagnosed with MS well before her career as a professional race car driver began. Kelly started racing cars at the young age of 10 and was diagnosed at the age of 16. Kelly Sutton was the first known NASCAR driver to have the disease, Trevor Bane was diagnosed in 2013 with MS. Kelly Sutton did not let her MS diagnosis at 16 change her dreams and she began her professional career in 1992 at Old Dominion Speedway. Kelly holds the record for the most races run by a female in the Craftsman Truck series and she has also won awards including Most Popular Driver at both Old Dominion Speedway and at the Allison Legacy Series. In addition to Most Popular Driver, Kelly was the first woman to win the Allison Legacy Series in 1997. Though Sutton's last race was in 2007, she continues work on her charity, the Let It Shine Foundation which is dedicated to raising awareness for and helping those affected with MS.

These three accomplished professional athletes are just a small sample of people with MS who have done incredibly things. Living a health and active lifestyle helps to manage systems and can help you to achieve your dreams. 

Comments (5)

Laura posted on: September 3, 2014

Race car driving makes her an athlete?!?!? Sorry but try to get real athletes that require physical attributes for this list. I has MS and drove to 6-8 hours straight to see a specialist once. I do not consider that an achievement. Driving is a past-time, not a real sport.

Daryl H. Bryant posted on: September 5, 2014

Hi Laura,

I'm sorry you feel that way and I'll be sure to take your comment into consideration the next time.


Dollie Reaser posted on: September 16, 2014

Please email me I have lots of questions about what to do and not to do...we are new to this illness and I would like guidance but not in here,...thanks!

Daryl H. Bryant posted on: September 16, 2014

Hi Dollie,

Please feel free to message me privately on my Facebook page ( - I answer every message promptly and always within a day. If you don't have a Facebook profile, you can contact me directly using this form (

I would be more than happy to help you out with any questions you may have. I know it was probably difficult finding out that you (or someone you love) has MS, but you will get through it!


Michele Garvey posted on: November 3, 2022

After 20 years of MS treated from 2000 to 2006 with Rebif(efficient to that year) and then Avonex(not efficient to calm down my lesions’ number increase)

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