Story by: Joe Hall on April 30, 2021
When David C. Hussung’s mom, Beth, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in the early 1970s, there was very little local support to treat the disease. Thanks to David and his wife Rebekah’s $1 million donation to the Norton Healthcare Foundation, the newly named Hussung Family Multiple Sclerosis Center will provide patients with the latest MS care for years to come.
“MS has been a part of our family my entire life,” said David, owner of Hussung Mechanical Contractors. “Seeing my mom battle and overcome the disease in so many ways really made us want to contribute to such an important cause.”
The Hussung Family Multiple Sclerosis Center, located at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital, provides help with the day-to-day challenges of living with a neurological condition. It’s part of Norton Neuroscience Institute’s goal to care for the whole person, not just the condition. The center supports thousands of patients and families by improving access to care, providing valuable information on managing neurological diseases and supporting quality of life while managing the condition.
“We’re incredibly grateful to David and his family for their generous support,” said Lynnie Meyer, Ed.D., R.N., CFRE, senior vice president and chief development officer, Norton Healthcare. “As the need for MS care continues to grow, we will be in an even stronger position to serve this community.”
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Not much was known about MS when Beth first received her diagnosis.
“At the time, there were very few therapies and none locally,” she said. “Originally we had to go to Indianapolis, which was tough on our growing family.”
“We felt so alone when Beth was diagnosed,” said David L. Hussung, Beth’s husband and David C.’s father. “Fortunately, Norton became available in the 1980s, and it really changed the game for us. We witnessed the beginning of a great center and could then access the newest treatments here at home.”
Under the care of neurologists at Norton Neuroscience Institute, Beth has been able to manage her disease, but the journey has been far from easy. At times, she’s had to rely on a wheelchair or scooter to get around.
“Seeing mom’s challenges with mobility has been tough,” David C. said.
Fortunately, with the combination of treatment and prayer, Beth has been able to walk unaided for more than a decade. She and her husband have been able to travel and enjoy their retirement years with their eight grandkids.
“Back when I was diagnosed, doctors said I probably wouldn’t live past 60,” Beth said. “I’m 76 and still going strong.”
David C. has been a big supporter of Norton Healthcare and Norton Neuroscience Institute for years. When he saw an opportunity to support the center, it felt like the perfect way to invest in the health of those living with MS and other neurological diseases.
“The MS center gives a real sense of reassurance, not only to patients but also their families,” he said. “Having local experts who know MS incredibly well is a real asset to this community. There are so many new treatments, and it’s great to have a clinic that’s up on all the latest therapies and research. Our family wants to support their important work to help other patients in our community.”
“It’s so important that Norton has these services,” she said. “They’re professional and informed and have always been there for us. That support has made a world of difference.”
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