Living with a disease takes plenty of willpower and determination. Having a chronic illness doesn’t mean we should give up on continuing to live our lives. Last year, former first lady Michelle Obama talked about her father’s undefeatable willpower during his battle with MS.
While multiple sclerosis (MS) is a rare occurrence in the Black community, it’s still a prominent issue amongst African-Americans. According to a recent South California study funded by the National MS Society, “an estimated 226 Black people and 238 white people of every 100,000 have MS.” However, in general, MS cases occur in women more than men. With studies like these, it’s becoming more and more known that the chronic disease doesn’t just affect white people but also the Black community.
Unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness about how MS affects the Black community. Many former Black MS patients have fought for their voices to be heard in the healthcare system. Michelle Obama’s father’s struggle with the disease acts as big help in drawing awareness for the disease. Not only that, but her father’s story can help other black patients struggling with MS know how to better manage it.
The Strength Of A Hardworking Man
Last year, Obama revealed where her unyielding strength and courage comes from, her father, Fraser Robinson III. In the fall of 2022, the Harvard graduate sat down with REVOLT TV for her special “Michelle Obama: The Cross Generational Conversation” about her father’s battle with MS. After 30 years, her father’s strength during the difficult time still impacts her to this very day.
During the interview, Obama noted that despite her father’s MS, he never stopped living his life. Robinson III worked as both a pump worker at the Chicago water plant and also served as a precinct captain for the Democratic Party.
Additionally, he never stopped taking care of his family. Most endearing, Robinson III never once gave in to the disease.
“He never felt sorry for himself, he never expected others to do for him, and just the sheer act of him getting up every day and going to work was a statement–that stays with me every day of my life,” the Harvard graduate says to REVOLT Tv on her special.
The first lady became emotional, discussing her dad’s condition. Her father’s determination to not let the disease consume his everyday life played an important role in Obama’s upbringing and even her adulthood.
Like father, like daughter, Robinson III’s disease wasn’t a chronic illness at all, it was simply a state of mind. He didn’t