Jack Osbourne Talks About Life, Work And Having MS

You Don't Know Jack About MS gives viewers a glimpse into Osbourne's every day life – from fatherhood to life as a production company executive and just being plain Jack – all through the lens of his MS (Photo: Getty Images/Entertainment)
You Don't Know Jack About MS gives viewers a glimpse into Osbourne's every day life – from fatherhood to life as a production company executive and just being plain Jack – all through the lens of his MS (Photo: Getty Images/Entertainment)

Remember Jack Osbourne of MTV’s hit reality show The Osbournes? The youngest child of rocker Ozzy and TV personality Sharon, Jack became infamous overnight for his teenage partying habits, aggressive rants and all-around dysfunction. Since the show ended in 2005, he’s become an adrenaline junkie, a paranormal investigator, a Dancing With the Stars runner-up, and finally a husband and father. He started working at 14 and hasn’t slowed down since, despite being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2012.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder that affects the nervous system, causing a loss of muscular control. Osbourne has Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS), meaning that his symptoms come in episodes followed by periods of remission, which can last from weeks to years. Osbourne’s been in remission for the past two years and appears to be the image of health.

Osbourne first knew something was wrong when he went completely blind in his right eye. He found out it was MS just three weeks after his daughter Pearl was born. It sounds like terrible timing, but Osbourne calls it a blessing. “It didn’t allow me time to sit and dwell on the negative. I had a little baby to take care of.” His wife and brand new daughter got him through those early days, even with the undercurrent of fear at being diagnosed with such an unpredictable disease. Now he’s able to manage his MS with Copaxone, a nutritious diet and regular exercise. He says he doesn’t notice any physical limitations.

Last year Osbourne launched the reality web series You Don’t Know Jack About MS, where you can see him spending time with family and friends, working at his production company, taking trips to doctors and support groups and exercising with Pearl. He signed on to the show to raise awareness and break the stigma of MS. “I experienced a level of discrimination upon getting diagnosed. I lost a job because of it. Yeah, I’ve got this disease that can rear its ugly head, but I’m fully capable of doing everything the guy next to me can. I didn’t like that there was a stigma about it so I decided to get vocal.” The web series is his opportunity to answer fan’s questions about life with MS.

In fact, Osbourne is working non-stop on upcoming projects; he’s so busy he even hung up his dancing shoes. He works with his company Schweet Entertainment producing a ton of new pilots. They partnered with National Geographic on Alpha Dogs last year. Osbourne is also the west coast correspondent for Fuse News and will return to acting next March in Silent Life, a film based on the life of Rudolph Valentino. Sadly, Osbourne doesn’t think Haunted Highway will be returning for a 3rd season, but SyFy has yet to confirm.

Regarding MS, Osbourne reminds people to look for the signs. “The earlier you can find it, the earlier you can get diagnosed and the more likely you’ll have a highly active life. Keep an ethos and be conscious that this disease is out there and it affects millions of people across the world. It doesn’t matter where you come from in life, this disease is a bit of an equalizer and it has to be gone with.” He’s right – we’re definitely not all Osbournes, but everyone needs to be aware of diseases like MS to stop the stigma and help find a cure.

“It’s a constant thought. I wake up and I have to take my injections three times a week. It’s a bit of a reminder of what I’m living with.” But the disease is a tiny blip on his radar compared to becoming a father. “It definitely has made me softer as a human being—having a little baby. It’s made me care about myself more, which is strange. I don’t want to part with the planet before I’m ready.” With his talent and positive attitude, we’re not ready to part with him either.

Alicia Kolenda

Alicia Kolenda is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on 29 Secrets, AmongMen, Nexopia, Baby Post, Savvy Mom and Recipe Geek. She can often be found drinking high tea and ghost hunting—though never at the same time, it wouldn’t be dignified. Find her at aliciakolenda.com or catch her on twitter @AliciaKolenda.

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