MS Heroes: Charles Fox

I heard the sad news, on Friday, that Charles Fox passed away in Bolinas, California. Condolences to his daughter and family. I feel very sad. Plans were quite advanced for me and my family to take our summer holiday this year on the west coast of America; one of the objectives was to visit Charles in Bolinas. Sadly, this won’t be possible now and I will have to add an item to my list of regrets. I should have made the effort to visit him earlier.


The following is a re-posting; this post led to the survey and debate about should we or shouldn’t we celebrate MS heroes? 

I have just received, today, a signed version of a book by Charles Fox “With a Little Help from My Friends: A Love Story”. Charles has had MS for over 30 years. I met him over the internet; he contacted me via email to ask me questions about Queen Square and the practice of neurology in the United Kingdom and specifically at the hospital where he was originally diagnosed.

I am very fortunate to have read most of the book already as single chapters that he has sent me over the past few years. Charles writes beautifully and his story is an amazing one. If you get the time it is an inspirational read. The book provides the sustenance and motivation to keep doing what we do; trying to conquer MS.

Whilst looking for his book on the web, I found this YouTube clip of him and Véro (apologies, it is a commercial but that is not the point).

In the acknowledgements he writes: “But, first and foremost, I thank my wife, Véro, for having sustained me long enough to get the job done and for giving me a happy ending.”

I have been promising to visit Charles at his home in Bolinas (Northern California) for several years now; I need to get there sooner than later.

Press clipping: Photographer Fox captures movement in Bolinas exhibition

7 thoughts on “MS Heroes: Charles Fox”

  1. Charles is inspirational but this is also a reminder of just how cruel a disease MS can be.It's always the best people in life for who things like this happen. It seems so unfair but I'm sure Charles is not looking for pitty.

  2. “There was a funeral limited to close friends this morning (Saturday). There will be a memorial later on. It was the nicest funerals I have ever been. The family did a "do it yourself" funeral, Bolinas style. His son and nephew built the coffin (and branded it "Pea Brain" as in his book; this was going back to when they were 14 year old or so and Charles made them built something in wood). Charles stayed home in his bedroom filled with flowers brought by friends and family. This morning, the family put the body in the coffin with friends and we all walked to the cemetery with the flowers. The group was led by the coffin transported by the family and friends. When we arrived at the little cemetery which is close by, the ground was open and there were shovels on the stack of dirt… with a bottle of nice whiskey. We set the flowers on his coffin and people started to talk about Charles and his family. There was a lot of laughter. Then we put Charles in the ground, opened the bottle of whiskey and some was splashed on the coffin and then the rest was circulated through the 50 people or so who were there. Then people took turns to shovel dirt back in and gabbled and laughed, all this under off and on rain, in the old romantic cemetery of Bolinas. Charles was a terrific man, big inside and outside. We will all keep fond memories and funny words.”Emmanuelle Waubant, Bolinas 24 March 2012

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