2014 MSAA Art Showcase Entrants
Terry Densford – Jacksonville, FL
Coming from an artistic family, I was consistently exposed to all things creative. As a result, I have lived my life expressing myself creatively; cooking, drawing, painting, playing drums, fly fishing, etc…
Currently, I am a chef, as it has been my profession since my brief time in art school about 15 years ago. I attended the School of Visual Arts, Savannah branch, after completing high school at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville FL. I was an illustration major and always wanted to create children’s books, but in my summers off from college, I needed a job, and that’s where I began my love for the culinary arts. Although a chef, I never put the paint brush down. In addition to my passions, painting and cooking, family is the most important thing in my life. I’m happily married, and recently we had a beautiful daughter!
I was diagnosed with MS on July 4th, 2011-an easy date to remember…I actually went in to the emergency room thinking I was having a stroke, but after thorough testing, it was official – I have MS. My MS affects my right side, from my face down to my toes, making it hard to speak, write, and other things we sometimes take for granted. It’s under control now… thankfully, because I’m right handed. The medication that I take every day is in shot form. It has been quite the adjustment administering a shot to myself daily, but it’s a small sacrifice for the sake of feeling ‘normal’. My wife, family, employers and friends have been amazing. They are here for me if/when I need them, without consistently bringing up the fact that I battle with this disease. So far, my only hindrance with painting (along with the other skills I obtain, and mentioned above) is my right arm gets pretty worn down quickly. I try to be active whenever possible… going to the gym, golf, fly fishing, surfing, etc. Not only does it make me feel better, as a whole, but it gives me the stamina to be on my feet all day long, as I typically work 10+ hour shifts.
In close, MS is something that hovers over my head. Will it get worse? If it does, how will it affect my life? When is the next time I will have another flare up? Where will I be? What will I be doing? Is my hand just asleep, or is it my MS? All normal questions I believe anyone who struggles with MS, unfortunately, asks themselves on a regular basis. All that being said, I consider myself lucky. I feel fortunate that I was diagnosed early; that there are medical advances out there that have helped me keep this disease under control. I push fear aside, so I can continue to move forward. I intend to live my life as if there isn’t anything hindering its quality.