Singer, songwriter and 2009 American Idol contestant David Osmond will headline this year’s National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter Women Against MS (WAMS) Luncheon Friday, June 5, at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale.
Osmond, who was diagnosed with MS several years ago, is the son of Alan Osmond, the founder of the famed troupe of singing brothers. Ironically, Alan Osmond has battled the baffling and potentially debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis for the past 20 years.
In January, Osmond, already an accomplished singer, musician and actor, auditioned on American Idol, one of the most popular shows on American television. At the age of 18, he first started to reach fame when he became understudy for his uncle, Donny Osmond, in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The younger Osmond actually took over the role on several occasions when the elder Osmond was stricken with laryngitis. As a youth Osmond was lead singer of a family group, The Osmond Second Generation. Three singles hit the Top 40 Hit Charts in the U.K., and the group played to sold-out stadiums and arenas in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
In 2005, after graduating from college, Osmond’s health began to deteriorate. He found himself unable to walk and consequently in a wheelchair for the better part of a year. He was initially diagnosed with West Nile Virus and a year later, also diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. As a result of his illness, his breathing became so labored he could no longer sing and playing a guitar was out of the question.
“I thought music was done for me,” said Osmond, who began singing at the tender age of four.
Fortunately, over time and with treatment, Osmond, 30, regained function and has been able to pursue his music career.
“I've been really blessed in so many ways,” said Osmond. “Music is my life, and I got the chance to share it once again with everyone who watches American Idol. Although my time in the pressure cooker was short lived, it still was a great opportunity for me to let people know a little more about multiple sclerosis. It has also led to a whole new array of radio and television opportunities.”
Osmond is partnered with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and serves as an official ambassador and spokesperson, raising awareness and educating others on the effects of the disease. He travels the country performing and sharing his personal story of living life to the fullest in the face of the unpredictable effects of multiple sclerosis.
Osmond will both speak and perform June 5. Jocelyn Maminta, WTNH News Channel 8 anchor, will serve as mistress of ceremonies. The Greater New Haven 2009 WAMS Luncheon will be held at noon at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale in New Haven, Conn. Funds raised through Connecticut Chapter events, such as WAMS Luncheons, ensure ongoing scientific research to find better treatments and a cure. These funds also provide for the continuation of vital programs and services offered by the chapter to the more than 6,000 Connecticut residents diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Seats are limited. For more information or to reserve a seat, please contact Allison Cohen at 860-714-2300, ext. 246. For more information on MS, its effects and the many ways to help, please visit, www.ctfightsMS.org.