Multiple sclerosis patient persists through pressures


Photos by Amanda Peterson / Special to Xpress

Peterson Metal Fabricating was a sheet metal shop in Hayward, Calif. with four generations worth of family history and with Dan Peterson’s deteriorating health, as shop owner he had no choice but to call it quits.

In 1993, Peterson had to put an end to a family legacy as he learned his life was about to changer: He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

The autoimmune disease often referred to as M.S. — or what Peterson likes to call “miserable stuff” — affects the nervous system and impairs the motor skills. Terminal diseases, like M.S., challenge families with financial and emotional strain and this time around is no different. The disease has left Peterson legally blind in both eyes and bound to a wheelchair. Despite his declining health and his increasing trips to the hospital in recent years, Peterson keeps a positive outlook on life by taking on the obstacles that come his way.

This is a look into his life.