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Meet Stephen White!

Stephen White - Author

I just learned today about Stephen White, the best-selling author, who has MS. Some of his books include, The Siege; which is now in bookstores (as of Aug. 4th, 2009), and the 17th in a series of psychological thrillers. Dead TimeKill Me, and Higher Authority are a few of his other titles. Now I'm not much of a mystery/thriller/action book reader, but if you like this kind of thing, you may want to check him out.

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An MS character

His main character, Dr. Alan Gregory, has a wife – Lauren Crowder - who also has multiple sclerosis. Even though it effects her differently than it does him, he knows first hand how to write about this sometimes debilitating disease – he has it!

Helping others understand

He uses his books to help readers understand what multiple sclerosis is. I think this is a pretty neat way to help others learn about any disease or condition. Stephen gets plenty of mail with questions about Lauren's illness, and has this to say about why he doesn't feel that it's his place to answer them.

"I educate people about the illness as part of storytelling," White says. "But I don't encourage questions about health to come my way any more than I encourage questions about mental health to come my way because I'm a psychologist. "I deflect them. It's not the correct forum."

Stephen White - then and now

Stephen White was born in Long Island but grew up in New York, New Jersey, and also Southern California. He attended college in California and where he dropped out of a creative writing class after just three weeks! Now he's a New York Times best-selling author of 17 books – go figure!

He eventually became a psychologist and now uses this background to help him create believable characters and exciting, action packed plots. He was still practicing full time when he wrote his first book in 1989, Privileged Information; a mystery/thriller.

Book titles

In 1992, he wrote Private Practices and two years later in 1994, Higher Authority. In this book, Dr. Alan Gregory becomes a lead character. Harm's Way  is his first New York Times best-seller. Several more books followed, in which Dr. Gregory is the protagonist or main character and a series was born.

(NOTE: The following affiliate links to Mr. White's books will open in a new window.)

Book links

Stephen has had relapsing-remitting MS for the past 23 years. He was diagnosed in 1986, but believes he had symptoms at least 10 years before that. In the 70's and early 80's, MRI's weren't as readily available as they are now. When he eventually had an MRI in 1986, doctors said it suggested MS. He, however, was sure.

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But Stephen White, "he looks so good"

Stephen White Author

Although he never kept the fact that he had multiple sclerosis a secret, Stephen White is just now talking publicly about it. People are often surprised when they find that he has MS. They comment that he "looks good". As a person with MS, many of your symptoms are internal or "invisible".

    "I don't think it is something that most Americans understand. With MS, what you see is not what you get. And I prefer it that way."

Treatment and symptoms

He uses one of the interferon treatments to manage his usually mild multiple sclerosis symptoms. They range from daily fatigue, to vision problems, numbness and tingling, vertigo, spasticity, weakness, pain, balance difficulties, to an occasional drooping left eye. Most of these come and go.

Just say no..., to saunas

He is still active and enjoys swimming and hiking, as well as traveling. He avoids sports and activities that cause him to get overheated.

"I don't go outside on hot days or spend excess time in direct sun. I don't hang out in hot tubs or saunas," White says.

He's thankful that he has a flexible job like writing. He's able to work when he's able and rest when he needs to. In other words he says:

"It's not just seize the day, it's seize the hour. If you have a good hour, you use it."

I don't know if there is an autobiography in him, but I for one would like to read it. His story through the interviews I've read is very inspirational. Even though I don't have MS, (Cir does), I have gained much just by reading his responses to the questions.

Here are a few more links you may enjoy. Find out more about Mr. White by watching the video and clicking the links below. (Links will open in a new window.)

Stephen White Video Interviews

Go back to Famous People with MS.

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Cir & Akrista

You are reading original content written by Akrista or Cir L'Bert of Life in Spite of MS. If you enjoyed reading this blog, please consider following us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. See you there!

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