I not only found a kindred karaoke spirit, but another soul who has struggled with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease like so many I have met over a decade.
Patrick was an accomplished athlete in high school, participating in many sports and even boasting a 85mph fastball. But his deformed feet prevented him from running, eliminating any chance to pursue sports past high school. His gnarled feet were also to blame for his frequent falls, once falling down 15 concrete stairs.
At that time, Patrick didn’t know that his symptoms were only going to get worse, due to a progressive, inherited neuropathy.
After living with a 10-year long misdiagnosis for his worsening symptoms, Patrick was finally diagnosed with CMT2A in 1987. Today, Patrick suffers from extreme foot-drop, painfully cold calves/feet, constant full-body neuropathic pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. He underwent triple arthrodesis and bilateral tendon transfer surgery over a 2-year period from 1990-1992.
So how did this CMT afflicted guy go from an accomplished high school athlete to become the ‘Karaoke King?’
Patrick and his sister fell in love with singing at a very young age. He was a singer and lead guitarist of several bands back in 1980’s and 1990’s, even winning a couple battle of the bands. But he didn’t pursue much more with music.
It wasn’t until after he met his future wife Melissa in 1998 that he returned to his musical roots and started singing karaoke in 2000.
Over the past 10 years, Patrick sang in several karaoke shows and competitions. He was named ‘Karaoke King’ in Columbus, Ohio in 2008. He came in 5th in the Karaoke World Competition Nationals in 2014 on his first attempt! This past summer, he won a 9-week karaoke competition for the USA Days Festival in July, becoming a local champion.
But no one knew he was singing on stage as a CMT patient.
Let’s go back to the 2014 Karaoke World Competition Nationals. Patrick really wanted to announce he had CMT. He wanted to promote knowledge and awareness of the disease, using his karaoke appearances and resulting PR to help spread the message. Beyond the support of his loving family and a few good friends, he didn’t have too much luck with local fundraising and social media campaigns.
That is all about to change.
The Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation is proud and honored to sponsor Patrick in the upcoming Karaoke World Championships Nationals in Little Rock, AK, taking place September 25-27th, 2015. He will be representing the CMT community and showing us that CMT won’t stop the Karaoke King!
This is only the beginning of our collaboration with Patrick. We look forward to supporting Patrick on his amazing journey!
If you are in Little Rock, please come out and cheer him on!
You can also show you support by visiting Patrick’s donor page here -> http://weblink.donorperfect.com/karaokeking