“You may not control life's circumstances, but getting to be the author of your life means getting to control what you do with them.” Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
We had been married just two years, our oldest son was only six months old and I was just beginning my second year of dental school when my wife, Cindy, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Forty-two years ago, treatment options for MS were limited. Cindy was told that she would probably live 20 years or less. But being young, the dire prognosis didn't register so we went about living our lives confident in the rich promise of the future.
For 42 of the 44 years we have lived our lives together, MS has been a not-so-silent partner in our marriage. We could have made the decision to “just get by,” but instead we chose to just live normally, as all of us do, perhaps a little more tenaciously than most. In doing so we have managed to create a life beyond our expectations; one that has been remarkable under any circumstances.
I use our entertaining, positive story to inspire and motivate audiences to make more mindful, positive choices in their own lives. Whether it is a professional meeting or support group, our story will inspire your audience.
Some benchmarks along the way:
Parents of four adult sons
Grandparents of ten
Successful business leader: from small basement office to a premier dental practice
Kelso Citizen of the Year
Cowlitz County Citizen of the Year
Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Recipient
Lifelong learner and adventurer
MBA age 60
Century rider MS bike age 65
First marathon age 66
First attempt Mt. Rainier Summit age 68
What audiences are saying:
“This message is so powerful, it is important for all of us regardless of the challenges that we face in life. Your approach is so positive and practical. Truly inspirational. Thanks for sharing.” J.M.
“After I heard you speak last time I started to jog and now I jog two miles a day. Thank you.” M.M.
“I loved your message. I thought this would be a 'downer' but you have made this topic interesting and positive. Your story is amazing, funny and inspirational. Thank you.” P.H.
“I so enjoyed your presentation. I remember thinking the same thing that last time that I heard you. I've found myself thinking of your stories and message this week. You have a gift for storytelling. Thanks for sharing.” A.R.
“Dr. Larsen's passion for speaking comes from the heart. In just 90 minutes, attendees gained a fresh perspective on compassion and caregiving. Dr. Larsen has deep professional and personal expertise and it shows. He draws on his career of care taking of his wife experiencing Multiple Sclerosis. His speech was packed with illuminating anecdotes, telling personal stories, and a refreshing dose of good humor. In sum, it is my pleasure to give Dr. Brad Larsen my highest recommendation as an inspirational speaker. He will deliver a message that will connect on a deep level with your audience.” C.S.
“Thank you and Cindy so much for talking to my group today. Your message, and even more your and Cindy's presence, today was very moving and meaningful. Your points were so clear, and so crucial, that I know they were helpful to us and to the others there today. I'm sure we'll be discussing and sharing them at our next meeting! Thanks again, and I'm so happy and moved that you are sharing your life experience, your insights, and your message of hope (realistic, not “la la”!) with others living with MS.” S.R.
“I am involved with caregiving for my brother. It has been a real struggle. Today as I drove here, I thought to myself, 'I am done. I can't do this anymore.' After hearing your presentation, I have no hope. I can do this. Thank you so much for your positive message of hope.” R.M.
“Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to come share such a wonderful testimony of you and your wife's life together. It was a story of hope, perseverance and so much love.” L.T.
“After hearing your message, I know that my dreams can become reality. Anything and everything is possible.” A. F.
“Having been in a caregiving role, Dr. Larsen's presentation brought up many emotions. I wish I had heard his presentation earlier. Dr. Larsen speaks from the heart; his position that caregiving is a privilege, is an incredibly powerful valuable message to anyone in this position. His comments regarding taking care of yourself (caregiver), are spot on – this is truly so important to the caregivers mental and physical well-being.” G.M.