Joe McCaul, one half of Ireland’s 2005 brother-sister act – Donna & Joe, has revealed that he is is suffering from multiple sclerosis. Speaking to the Irish Independent, Joe explained how the disease has affected him both mentally and physically.
My world crumbled around me. I was crying and the doctors just left me be
He first noticed the symptoms last year, when he experienced an occasional numbness in his feet and a tingling in his hands. Matters became serious one morning in November when he awoke to discover that he had lost all power from the waist down. At the time, he was rushed to hospital where a series of tests were run, resulting in an initial diagnosis of Transverse Mylitis or an inflammation of the spinal cord.
However, following further tests, it was confirmed that he actually had MS.
When I was at home I got a call from my neurologist’s secretary to come back up to St James’ and I was a bit suspicious, because I had already got an appointment for next May. I got into the room and there were three doctors there and my doctor started talking in a general way about MS. I asked straight out ‘have I got MS’ and they said yes
When I got the news nothing made any sense. I couldn’t see a life for myself. When I think MS I only see a wheelchair. I’m still coming to terms with it
Despite being wheelchair bound for parts of the Christmas period, Joe is refusing to let the disease keep him down. Over the coming months he intends to take part in a production of Grease, work with his new band and train for the Dublin marathon, which he hopes to run in October.
I can either lie down under it or get up and go. When people say to me, but you’ve got MS, I say, MS hasn’t got me. I love to party and I’m living for now. I’m not thinking about what next year has to offer