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Web Exclusive: Fighting the Good Fight

Clay Walker talks candidly about his winning battle with Multiple Sclerosis

In the March 24 issue of Country Weekly you’ll find a revealing article on Clay Walker, who discusses how he has battled the neurological disease multiple sclerosis for the last 12 years. Clay is working to bring attention to the illness throughout March, which is National MS Education and Awareness Month. In these exclusive Web-only excerpts from our interview, he talks more about his fight against MS, as well as his family life and the latest hit from his Fall album, “She Likes It in the Morning.”

On the State of His Health

“Like anybody else, you go through little trials. I’ve got an ankle injury right now that I have to have surgery for. With MS, you have to have moderate exercise, at least. If you don’t use it, you lose it. That’s the biggest thing for people with MS, and you’ve go to stay on top of it. I take a daily injection along with moderate exercise and that sustains me. I’ve been in remission for 11 years. A lot of people I know aren’t doing so well. Most of the time when you ask them what they’re doing about the MS they say, ‘Nothing at all.’ Well, that’s the worst thing you can do for it. You have to get on a program. I compare it to people that have diabetes—they have to take their insulin and check their blood every day, and if they don’t they can get into serious trouble. MS is no different. It’s something you have to take seriously. But I don’t let the disease dictate my life, that’s for sure.”

On His MS Foundation

“I do feel a duty to the MS community to be an ambassador for the disease. Every time I meet somebody new that has MS, I’m thinking, ‘How can I help?’ That’s why we formed our foundation, Band Against MS [BAMS]. I feel like we’ve come a long way. I feel like we’re headed in the right direction with research. Make no mistake, I won’t rest until we have a cure.”

On His Attitude Toward MS

“The only thing we’re in control of is our attitude. Your flesh is the closest thing to you, and you can’t control that. You can’t control whether you get MS. But you can control your attitude, and that’s a conscious decision. I’ve never had anything but a positive attitude about it. I can’t see that changing anytime soon. The more I understand it, the more peace I get about it. At the same time, that peace has given me the desire to find a cure.”

On Health and Happiness

“I can’t tell you how much I believe happiness goes hand in hand with health. You don’t have one without the other. If you’re unhappy you’re probably unhealthy, and if you’re unhealthy you’re probably unhappy.”

On His Fans

“I feel like I’ve had the most loyal fans of any country music artist I’ve ever heard about. We call it our ‘Fam Club,’ because the people that are our fans seem more like family. It’s beautiful.”

On “She Likes It In The Morning”

“I was in Flagstaff, Ariz., and came up with that idea. I wrote it with a good friend of mine, Jason Greene. It has that real traditional sound to it, but at the same time it’s very modern. The song itself is a sweet song, and it’s one of those that I feel like women and men both get. It’s masculine enough for men to like and tender enough for women. The title makes people pay attention a little bit. It’s definitely got a little shock factor to it. It can seem a little risqué at the beginning, but it’s not. It’s a tongue-in-cheek thing. As soon as you hear the second line you get it. That’s the fun of writing, and the art of writing—the fact that you can lead somebody one way, then go another.”

On His Next Album

“We’re going to record the first few tracks in March with [producer and songwriter] Doug Johnson. Then we’ll see what we’ve got. We already have a couple of songs I feel really good about.”