Chairman to the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, property investor and businessman, Tony Bloom has fought several drawbacks and challenges in his career. One of the most noteworthy of them would have to be Multiple Sclerosis.
His Australian born wife Linda, to whom he has a seven year old son with, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) more than a decade ago. It is a degenerative neurological condition that affects the central nervous system (e.g. brain, optic nerves, spinal cord) and disrupts the information flow between the brain and the body and within the brain itself.
The immune system of a person with MS attacks the protective sheath called myelin that covers the nerve fibers. This is what causes the communication difficulty between the brain and the rest of the body. Over time, this deteriorates the nerves where they can become permanently damaged. Mild cases are characterized by numbness of the limbs and eyesight blurring among others while severe ones may result to blindness and paralysis. Its symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, vision problems, difficulties in balance, bladder issues, muscle stiffness, spasms, memory gap, troubles in speaking and emotional instability.
Furthermore, this disabling condition comes as relapses which are untimed with the frequency and intensity uncertain. It has no known cause nor is an exact cure discovered and is even considered to be rare with only 0.035% of the world population suffering from it. Treatments are however available but they are merely to deter the relapses and hopefully prolong the patient’s life.
Tony recalls of Linda’s initial months with Ms to be “tough and discouraging”. He remembers that she was “in such a bad way she could not get off the sofa and couldn’t even lift up a pen”. Thankfully and miraculously, she has managed to control and manage her condition through proper and healthy diet, meditation yoga, exercise and self-hypnosis.
It is because of this that Linda established the OMS Foundation which stands for ‘Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis”, something that her husband Tony ardently supports. In fact he has run two Brighton marathons, one in 2011 and the other in 2015, in an effort to raise awareness and funds for the cause. During his second race, he aimed to raise £100,000 for the said charity. The race takes place every April in Brighton and covers a total of 42.2 kilometers.
Tony Bloom himself has a charity of his own known as the Bloom Foundation whose main goal is to provide relief and solution to poverty in various developing countries focusing on education, food, water and safety.