Over the years Michael has been a business owner, and worked in information technology, law enforcement and security. His first experience with volunteering was through a Boy Scouts of America program where kids can learn about being in law enforcement. Through the years He has also volunteered at a zoo and with faith based and social support organizations.
Michael’s first experience with viral meningitis was in 1998 when he collapsed during his Sheriff’s training in the academy. He was rushed to the emergency room where they sent him home with a flu diagnosis, but the next day he was worse and went back. After a lumbar puncture, they diagnosed him with viral meningitis and he spent two weeks in the hospital making him ineligible to continue with the academy.
In 2009 Michael began experiencing neck stiffness, intense headaches, light sensitivity, and the inability to even keep down water. At the ER he was again diagnosed with viral meningitis. Since this was Michael’s second hospitalization for viral meningitis, the infectious disease doctor tested for HSV and was able to diagnose Michael with recurrent aseptic viral meningitis.
Armed with this diagnosis, Michael realized that his repeated bouts of neck stiffness and headaches over the years had been minor flares of his meningitis. It wasn’t until consulting with a neurologist in 2016 regarding his worsening and ongoing neurological symptoms that he discovered that his disease is also called Mollaret’s Meningitis, which allowed Michael to find more information about this disease.
Michael’s symptoms continued to become more disabling over the years, culminating in a breakdown in July 2015 when he became disabled and unable to work. Michael’s hope is to support research into recurrent meningitis to get more answers for patients with this rare disease. Michael also has experienced multiple traumatic brain injuries (TBI), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, anxiety, and his second rare disease hypokalemic periodic paralysis