A Passion Born Of Experience
When Mark Fischer joined the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology’s board of directors, he brought with him a deep-seated concern for public service, but also something infinitely more personal — thoughts of his lovely wife of 31 years. “My wife Carol was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 24 years ago,” he notes. “There is still no cure for this very debilitating disease.” Research, Mark notes, offers hope and he’s determined to aid the battle. “The La Jolla Institute is one of the top research institutes in the world focused on finding new treatments for many diseases that are immune system driven, including MS. I’m happy to serve on their board and support these important disease-fighting efforts,” says Mark, who joined last year.
Carol is also enthused, and helping the institute has become a family affair. Last fall, the couple hosted a “friend-raising” event at their home and made several charitable gifts. Carol has also begun discussing her illness more publicly to raise awareness of the importance of immune disease research and to offer hope to other sufferers. “I once heard a speaker say, ‘the biggest disability is attitude.’ I thought, wow, that is so true. How many people have everything, but have the worst attitude and so are basically paralyzed. I always try to stay positive.”
Vivacious and brimming with enthusiasm, Carol is a testament to living fully in the face of chronic illness. While raising their two daughters, ages 24 and 16, she has often volunteered with the schools, Rady Children’s Hospital, and the MS Society, which have also received generous support through their company, Sullivan Moving and Storage.
And while she has advanced to secondary progressive MS, Carol feels fortunate and remains resolute. “I’ve had to cut back some because of my illness. However, I enjoy being involved when I can.”