Aaron Solowoniuk - Living with MS

Published: 28th March 2008
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If you are a Canadian radio listener under the age of 30, the odds are pretty good that you have heard of the band Billy Talent (we are not saying that people over 30 haven`t heard of the band, just that you are less likely to, and more power to you if you are a fan!). Billy Talent has been together for over 15 years, forming when they attended high school together in Ontario.

The band first broke onto the Canadian scene in 2002, when their first album (re-titled Hard Core Logo) rocketed up the charts on the strength of several power singles, including their big hit, Try Honesty. This album went platinum three times in the country, and the band would pick up two Junos and multiple awards from Much Music as well.

Included in Hard Core Logo was a song entitled 'This is How it Goes`. The song was penned by lead singer Benjamin Kowalewicz, who acknowledged that it was about a friend of his who had been diagnosed with and was suffering from the recurring symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Two years ago, on March 17 2006, Billy Talent drummer Aaron Solowoniuk revealed to the public, and in particular fans of the band, that the song was in fact about him.

In 1999, Solowoniuk was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which was before the band hit the mainstream. In many ways, his journey in dealing with the disease is demonstrative of how many people feel about their own diagnosis; the disease itself entails symptoms such as numbness and paralysis and loss of vision which directly affect his career path, but even more so is the reality of coming to terms with MS in one`s own life.

These issues are common reactions when one is diagnosed, and Solowoniuk made the decision to inform his fans and the public in general about his fight with MS after learning more about the disease. In a letter which the band posted on their website, Solowoniuk discusses his diagnosis, MS in general, and the processes through which he has been able to reduce his symptoms and carry on with his life.

In many ways, Aaron Solowoniuk is an encouragement to other people, young and old, who have to deal with multiple sclerosis on a day-to-day basis. He undergoes regular self-injections in order to mitigate and control his symptoms, and as a public figure he has been instrumental in supporting many different MS fundraising and awareness drives. His courage and ability to talk about the disease cannot help but be a source of comfort and identification for his fans in particular, and the public in general.

By helping to organize F.U.M.S, a benefit concert, Aaron Solowoniuk, drummer for Billy Talent, joins Teri Garr as a celebrity advocate for finding a cure for MS.

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