Everything was going as planned until something happened. He strode out onto the field to the cheers coming from the stands when he lost his balance, tripped and fell. He felt his eyes roll back to the back of his head darkness slowly encroaching upon his consciousness. He felt nothing, just a numbing sensation as he convulsed, thrashed about and groped for the closest support. The stadium stood hushed as the scene unfolded in front of them, a pair of stretchers was brought out onto the field to carry Jamaal to the nearest hospital.
The emergency room worked with fervor trying to rule out as many conditions as possible, performing a lumbar puncture and an MRI on his brain. From these test the doctors had confirmed what they had initially believed Jamaal had shown symptoms of. As the doctors entered the room Jamaal was lost in his own world dreaming of his grandfather, Jamaal Jones Sr. and how they would play football together as a child. Jamaal awakes from his stupor by the sudden intrusion in his room; he can see the grief and weariness on his parent’s faces.
He looks on as the doctor beckons his parents to exit the room. The doctor tells his parents “Your son has multiple sclerosis. MS is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord resulting in loss of muscle control, vision, balance, and sensation. ” The parents asked, “Is there a cure for MS? ” The doctor tells them “No, we can only treat the symptoms which provides short term relief. Any long term “cure” for this disease has not been found. Jamaal’s mother asked the doctor how Jamaal could have acquired such a disease but the doctor could not provide and answer. With great sorrow in his voice the doctor tells Jamaal’s parents “Unfortunately, this disease is permanent and we cannot do anything to cure him. I am sorry. ” Having been diagnosed with MS, Jamaal became a great advocate for MS awareness, organizing events through his former team, the New York Giants, to promote his cause.