AAN Fan Favorite Video Official Press Release (April 11, 2011)
Honolulu -- With a record 108 films submitted and more than 100,000 votes from the public cast, the American Academy of Neurology Foundation is pleased to announce today the winning entries for its 2011 Neuro Film Festival, a contest to raise awareness through video about the need to support research into the prevention, treatment and cure of brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, autism, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. FAN FAVORITE AWARD (Online Recognition) Awarded by peers as a result of public voting on video entries: Hope and a Clinical Trial to Halt MS by David Bexfield of Albuquerque, NM
Dave Bexfield went through an experimental NIH-sponsored clinical trial (HALT-MS) for his aggressive multiple sclerosis: a bone marrow stem cell transplant designed to stop disease progression. The consent form he signed warned that the odds of death were 1 in 20. Despite repeated insurance denials, Dave pressed forward. The risky but potentially groundbreaking treatment performed in March 2010 required over a month of testing, three weeks in the hospital, and intensive rehabilitation. Bexfield also runs www.ActiveMSers.org, a nonprofit website designed to help, motivate, and inspire those with multiple sclerosis to stay as active as possible—physically, intellectually, and socially—regardless of physical limitations.
This film has been entered into the 2011 Neuro Film Festival from the American Academy of Neurology Foundation at www.neurofilmfestival.com. Let's put our brains together to support brain research. Visit www.neurofilmfestival.com. The video's concluding musical track "Et Ducit Mundum Per Luce" is courtesy Angels & Airwaves.
Motor Trend "Readers On Location" (May, 2010)
I had planned to send the popular car magazine Motor Trend a picture of me reading it just before going into an MRI. But seeing how MRI machines and anything metal don't get along, that idea was nixed (especially because I probably would have forgotten about the camera in my pocket and gotten zapped). Instead, I chose to have a pic taken of me getting a Tysabri infusion. I know, I know, how quaint.
Albuquerque Journal Feature (March 10, 2008)
The follow is an excerpt from the 2-page feature done of myself and another MSer. I was having a full-blown relapse at the time. Later in the article ActiveMSers is discussed.
Exercise, Attitude Help Sufferers Cope With Volatility of MS By Olivier Uyttebrouck Journal Staff Writer David Bexfield plots his path carefully, looking out for supports and handholds to guard against falls as he navigates around the gym where he works out most days. "I might not be able to walk tomorrow," Bexfield said. Any day he could lose his ability to see or swallow. "It's the unpredictability that's so challenging." Multiple sclerosis, a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system, already has robbed Bexfield of most feeling below his chest. And his fingertips are always numb. "It feels like a Novocain shot, except over your entire body," he said. Bexfield, 39, a co-owner and managing editor of Nissan Sport, a magazine for Nissan enthusiasts, has been locked in a fierce, daily battle with MS since his diagnosis in 2006. At stake is control of his body and the ability to do the things he loves, such as traveling, driving and snow skiing. He plans a trip next month to Bhutan, although a relapse threatens his ability to walk. "If I worried about next month, I wouldn't go anywhere," he said, wiping sweat off his face after a spin on a stationary bicycle at Defined Fitness. "I don't want MS to run my life and I don't want it to run anybody else's life."
Los Alamos Monitor Cover Feature (February 27, 2007)
Tucked in the mountains of northern New Mexico, Los Alamos is the where the original atomic bomb was developed during WWII. The once secret laboratory is now home to a community of scientists and engineers, as well as a hidden-gem of a ski area (www.skipajarito.com). It is also home to one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the US. When I was given the opportunity by Pajarito general manager Tom Long for some free snowboard lessons for some teen MSers, I jumped. I also contacted the Los Alamos Monitor managing editor Kelly LeVan to see if the paper would be interested in covering the event. They were, and the article landed on the front page.
CLICK TO ENLARGE
CLICK TO ENLARGE
Albuquerque Journal Feature (August 4, 2006)
I contacted Albuquerque Journal reporter Rick Nathanson about promoting the local MS150 cycling event and this new organization called ActiveMSers. At first he was in the completely understandable mode of "oh great, yet another nonprofit group wants a plug in the paper, but they don't have a new story compelling enough to interest our readers." He told me to contact their "Reach Out" section editor and they'd put in a paragraph blurb. But then I told him my story.
A week later he contacted me and said the editors loved the idea. He came over to our house and interviewed me for over three hours (Rick is thorough to a fault). A few days later, I met Rick and a Journal photographer at my local gym, Defined Fitness, for a photo shoot. They also wanted to take pics of me and my wife Laura together, so I invited them on a mountain bike ride. I was testing a cooling vest from Arctic Heat at the time, so it worked out perfectly. The resulting story and photo essay appeared on the front page of the "Personalities" section in the August 4, 2006 edition of the Albuquerque Journal. To read the article, search for "Bexfield" on the newspaper's home page or try here:
[Minor article corrections: Rick did a fairly accurate job—spelling Infiniti, Infinity, is understandable—but there are a few areas I want to make clear. ActiveMSers is a global endeavor (not just Albuquerque centric), I wouldn't quite describe the website as "a clearinghouse on information" for MSers as it describes in the caption, and I can sooo lift more than the pounds listed in the lead paragraph (seriously, I was going lighter so the photographer would have time to shoot). And, lest I forget, I rarely exercise legs and arms on the same day (he got confused). Unfortunately, the photo of my bike, which shows a seatpost suspension, is accurate. I know I lost points with hardcore mountain bikers, and for that I apologize. Hey, my rear gets tender.]
Dave and ActiveMSers were featured in the August 4 edition of the Albuquerque Journal
Albuquerque Journal article, page 1. CLICK TO ENLARGE
Albuquerque Journal article, page 2. CLICK TO ENLARGE
94 Rock Radio Interview
(July 19, 2006)
I was interviewed by 94 Rock's TJ Trout, Swami Rob, and Phil Mahoney on Albuquerque's most popular morning program in July of 2006. I tried my best to do MSers proud. In between talking about Vietnamese prostitutes, getting a numb "third leg," and giving a shot in a guy's "left sack" (this is a rather raunchy morning show), some good information was given to listeners across the state (and on the net) about MS. Highlights included:
MS strikes approximately 1 in 1,000 people; the odds of winning $100 in the PowerBall are 1 in 12,000
The effects of MS can be devastating and the current medications only slow the disease down by 30%
The annual MS bike ride for the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation is a great cause
Of course the most unusual part of the show came when I gave myself a shot live on the air. I went for the stomach for shock factor (my leg usually hurts the most), and put the auto-inject right near the microphone so everyone could hear the click. After, when they asked if it hurt, I said, "no, actually I thought I had accidentally left the cap of the needle on!" Boy, that would have been embarrassing. Overall, a fun show and good for the MS community.
Wall Street Journal Ad (June 15, 2006)
In 2005, before I had gotten my official diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, I received a mass e-mail from Nissan/Infiniti about them featuring an owner (I own a G35) every week in the Wall Street Journal. Why not me? So I sent an e-mail in to Nissan about my position as editor-in-cheif of a Nissan/Infiniti car magazine. Months went by before I heard back, and yes, they were interested. But by this time things in my life were in flux. I was just starting the process of launching a new all-Nissan, all-Infiniti, all-Datsun magazine called Nissan Sport (first issue comes out in September)—too early to make an announcement. And by this time I had been diagnosed and had already launched ActiveMSers.
I was interviewed by several members of their ad team over the phone for over a half hour. We talked about my travels, work, life. At the end of the interview, I said, "There is another part of my life I haven't mentioned before, and it might not be appropriate for an Infiniti ad, but I have MS and have started a not-for-profit." I told them all about ActiveMSers. When we hung up, I didn't know what direction they'd take. Well, now I know. The Infniti execs loved the idea of ActiveMSers and wanted to plug the site specifically. I couldn't have been happier with the result. Although they do make me sound a bit like a cross between Indiana Jones and the Pope. Ha!
Download the ad (at right), which includes a WSJ-style illustration of myself by Kevin Sprouls (www.sprouls.com) and an amazing Infiniti photo taken by Igor Panitz (see more of his work at www.t-mitchell.com).
Dave and ActiveMSers was featured in a half-page Infiniti ad in the June 15, 2006 edition of the Wall Street Journal (page A3)