Customer Spotlight: Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a former airline pilot and a want-to-be pro baseball player from Woodward, OK. He played baseball in college with a two year break (compliments of Uncle Sam). After he finished playing college baseball, he used his GI Bill to pay for a degree in aviation. After spending a few years flying charter and corporate, Mark and his wife Debbie, who both grew up in Oklahoma, moved to Arizona because Mark had landed his dream job with America West Airlines. The family enjoyed the perks and tried to travel as often as
possible.

With retirement almost two years away, he started having trouble with his voice and speaking. Throughout 2015, Mark started to go see ENT (ears, nose and throat) physicians. By November 2015, he had pretty much lost his voice. One of the ENT’s sent him back to the neurologist, who then ended up sending him to a specialist. In February 2016, Mark was diagnosed with ALS.

So far, Mark’s progression has been somewhat slow, but because it started with his speech and breathing, he was trached and vented in April 2017. Up until this point, his primary method of communication was writing on his phone or tablet. Mark already had an eye gaze communication device, and yet he never used it because it was too hard to use, but when Mark first tried the VisuALS device, he loved how simple and easy it was to use and couldn’t wait to have one of his own.

Mark and his family are still trying to travel some and are even looking into getting a motor home so that they can take all the equipment that he requires. Mark and his family also frequently go to Arizona Diamondback games and they just found out that on June 15th, he gets to throw out the first pitch for ALS night.

1 thought on “Customer Spotlight: Mark Wilson”

  1. Bob O’Grady

    Hi Mark,

    I was just talking about you yesterday and asking how your doing. My FO told me some folks saw you throw out the first pitch at recent DBacks game. I was as happy for you as I was sad not to see that myself. I too had dreams of playing in the majors so I can imagine how good it must have been to be recognized by the best team in baseball. Let’s hope it stays that way for a while. Ha ha.

    I really can’t imagine what you’ve had to go through. Just wanted to let you know people still care and think about you.

    God bless you,

    Bob

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