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Coffee Break Episode 16

Coffee Break 16 with Rick Nelson

Welcome to Living Well with MS Coffee Break #16, where we are pleased to welcome Rick Nelson as our guest!  

Our Coffee Break series is your chance to get to know members of our diverse OMS community. In each episode, you’ll join Geoff Allix for an intimate chat with a different member of our global community. Our guests will share their personal stories and talk about their challenges and victories, large and small. We hope you find common cause and a source of inspiration from the stories of these very special people. 

As always, your comments and suggestions are always welcome by emailing [email protected]. We hope you enjoy this episode’s conversation with Rick, beaming to you straight from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the USA.  


Rick’s Story (in his own words) 

I am Rick Nelson. I live in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, in the United States. I’m married to Solange and am a father of three adult children – Anthony, Alice and Richard – and I’m very proud of all of them. 

My Aunt Mary Jean had MS. As a family we experienced her advancing disability through my teenage and early adult years, culminating in her death at an early age from MS-related causes. Mary Jean took everything that the medical establishment had to offer in those days, yet she missed out on many of life’s joys, and never met her grandchildren.   

A couple of decades later, in late 2004, I was diagnosed with MS.  

I dove into the research found and embraced the Swank Diet. I was persuaded by long-range study, conducted by Dr Roy Swank commencing in 1948, which found that people with MS who consumed less than 20 grams of saturated fat per day essentially didn’t progress to disability over the more than three-decade course of the study.   

I was all in. 

Later, I came upon Dr George Jelinek’s book, Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis. With a family history similar to mine plus his background as a physician and medical journal editor, I felt Dr Jelinek incorporated extensive research to take Dr Swank’s work to the next level.   

After devouring Dr Jelinek’s book, I embraced the OMS Recovery Program.  

Leading a busy life with a demanding corporate job and family duties, I struggled with stress control. I was less than successful in embracing meditation, so a few years later I traveled to Melbourne, Australia and participated in the OMS retreat at Gawler Centre. At the retreat I came away deeply moved by the knowledge, care and selfless humanness demonstrated by Dr Jelinek, Zig and other members of staff. 

It was my first time in a community of people with MS, and I came away impressed with the strength and the passion of the other participants. These were people who challenged the status quo. 

I have been an advocate for OMS ever since.  

OMS has been life-changing for me, it has provided hope, and allowed me to regain control of my health. The result has been many years of vitality and contribution to my family and community. 


  • Rick, our audience wants to know a little bit about you and your life. Can you share some background on where you’re from, what you do, any snippets of your family or personal life or anything about you that would give our listeners a sense of who Rick Nelson is? 

  • How about your experience with MS? Can you provide some context on that? When were you diagnosed and how did you initially cope with it? 

  • At which point did you come across the OMS program? How was that experience for you? Why did you decide to start following it? 

  • What are some of the challenges you’ve faced at first in adopting the OMS program? How did you overcome them? 

  • When did you first start to see any kind of positive indicators in following OMS guidelines? What were these? 

  • You’ve been a valuable contributor to the OMS community. For example, you established the OMS Circle in Philadelphia and serve as its ambassador. What’s that experience like? 

  • On a personal note, do you have any unusual interests or wacky hobbies you can tell us about? What kind of stuff will we find you doing on a weekend? 

  • You’re also a successful entrepreneur and management consultant. If you tap into that expertise for a nugget of wisdom that would help people ease into and better adopt the OMS program, what would that advice be? 

Rick’s favorite links:

Coming up on our next episode: 

Tune in on May 12, 2021 for the second installment of Ask Jack, our special 5-part series where certified OMS foodie and professional chef Jack McNulty answers cooking- and food-related questions from you, our OMS community. This is a tasty morsel you won’t want to miss. And remember, you can submit your questions for future Ask Jack episodes by emailing them to [email protected]