Paul Gillies is an extraordinary individual. He has walked up Mount Vesuvius (on crutches); jet power-boated in New Zealand; Bungee jumped 300 feet over the River Thames; and tandem free fall parachuted from 10,000 feet. These physical feats would have taxed the average non-athletic person. But Paul has done this while experiencing a personal degenerative disease, one that has robbed him of his sight in one eye, and will eventually claim his life.
Paul Gillies has progressive Multiple Sclerosis.
Rather than thinking of his MS in stages of deterioration, he sees it more of being on a journey with obstacles around most corners. Philosophically, to Paul, it matters not where he is on his journey, but it matters greatly that he enjoy the ride. To this end, he has made a list of things that he would like to accomplish before his end.
Having always loved the blues, Paul was an unconvincing but enthusiastic harp player in his late teens. He put the harp down for a few years but the hunger to “wail-away” behind a band remained. So it was with great excitement he added this task his “list” and so he began the process of teaching himself to play properly. He played at a reasonable standard from 1993 until 1999 when his MS worsened and prevented him from being able to hold onto his green bullet mic, then poor co-ordination and fatigue finally forced him to give it up