Camillus Sunny skies and comfortable temperatures was just what the Camillus Rotary Club asked for as it celebrated its Community Recognition luncheon and welcomed News Channel 9 Chief Meteorologist Dave Longley as its keynote speaker Thursday afternoon at the Camillus Elks Lodge. The Camillus Rotary Club also recognized Camillus Chief of Police Thomas Winn as well as a special donation to the MS Resources of CNY.
Longley captivated the audience, speaking candidly about his battle with Multiple Sclerosis. Humor, interjected throughout his speech, became a comic relief for such a serious disease.
“I’ll be honest with you,” Longley said, “I’m use to talking about clouds, rain, and snow. [However] it’s really more than me; it’s all the people who are afflicted with MS.”
After the MS special in February, Longley said that there were a lot of people who have the disease that were in shock of how prevalent MS is in today’s society.
In 2004, the Oswego native noticed a tremor in his right hand. Longley thought it was too much coffee: his wife, on the other hand, thought otherwise.
“I think it’s one of the unwritten jobs of wives,” Longley said, “She said, ‘you should go get that checked out’ and I said, ‘Sure, yeah … whatever.’”
Before Longley knew it, he was in a “tube” going through the standard procedures of testing. His doctor was blunt about the diagnosis.
“’I hope you have good insurance’” Longley said about the phone call he received in regards to the results, “’because you have MS.’”
Longley does not shave or brush his teeth with his right hand. Fatigue often becomes a factor during the summertime when heat ravages Central New York and his slurred speech is evident when he is nervous, particularly in front of big crowds.
“Getting up in front of a camera is a piece of cake, I don’t see all of you” Longley joked, “I don’t care what you’re doing, I don’t want to see what you’re doing. But seeing eyeballs is a little nerve wracking for me.”