Montel Williams Visits KHNL News 8's Today Show

(KHNL) - Montel Williams joins us Tuesday morning, spreading the word about the Partnership for Prescription Assistance Program. As many of you know, Montel has Multiple Sclerosis. Your positive attitude is an inspiration for people around the world.

MONTEL WILLIAMS: Oh thank you so much.  That's part of the reason why I'm involved in this program which is a "Partnership for Prescription Assistance" because I understand how important it is to take your medication.  I take about 2200 to 5000 medication a month, every single month and that's really what happens when you stay in the shape that I'm in.  I wrote a book a couple of years ago which is still out right now in paper back called "Climbing Higher".  And the reason why I wrote the book is I was at the airport one day and a woman walked up to me in a walker and she said "Montel, thank god for you we have a face for MS".  And we talked for a while, we talked about medication, we talked about diet, we talked about exercise and then when she went to walk away from me and she's in a walker she said, "but let me tell you something, you made it really hard on us." And I said, "what do you mean?" And she said, "well, my husband said why don't you get your butt out of bed like Montel, why don't you go to work like Montel?" And I realized that the reason why she wasn't doing that was in that conversation, she said she wasn't taking medication because she couldn't afford it.

When I was given an opportunity to get in a program like this, which is bringing life to so many people across this country, at the end of this run, and hopefully this will continue for the next 10 years to come but even for the next two to three years, there are about four million people who would not have otherwise have medication who got it because of this mug on television along with the folks at PPA.  I'm not taking credit for what they're giving away but the fact that people stopped and looked at that commercial and say "let me write this number down for Aunt Sally, Montel, let me write this number down for Uncle Billy."  That's the reason why I'm doing this.

ANGELA: I think in my experience as a medical reporter though in Hawaii especially, I've come across people who are a little skeptical.  Anytime something like this is free and it's coming from the mainland, it might not be originally Hawaii-based of course it's pharmaceutical companies trying to do some good.  What do you say to those people who are afraid to ask for the hand up?

MONTEL:  We should villify those companies and people in society who do things that are wrong.  And maybe people have an issue with pharmaceutical companies.  That's fine, you could have your issue but I'm gonna tell you something right now, you should also vindicate those who do right and this is a program that I know for a fact there are people who walk up to me and say their aunt, uncle, mother, cousin are months away from death because they're weren't taking medication.  They got help for free so it works, don't be skeptical.  The fact of the matter is, if you're sitting out there right now watching this interview, you need medication and you don't have it because you didn't want to call this number, that's shame on you cause help is here today, right now.

ANGELA: You're living with a chronic disease.  There are many people out there with chronic fatigue, cancer, you name it.  How do you inspire them and tell them how you get up every day with a smile on your face, facing audience of millions of people?

MONTEL: The number one thing and I'm gonna tell you is as much as we like to believe the dotors on this planet have all the answers, they really don't because we know that we only use 10 to 15% of this thing up here (pointing to his brain).  If you apply this thing right here, this is the biggest part of any illness that you might face on a daily basis.  I have a choice.  I can lay on my bed and cry because my feet hurt or I can get my butt up and try to contribute to this society.  That's what life is all about.  That's what gaining something is all about.  I get as much as I put out to other people.  I get back when I see it reflect on somebody's face.  What people don't understand is that though you may have an illness, guess what?  You have the illness, the illness does not have you.  The day you succumb and let it have you, you'll succumb.  The moment you decide within yourself I'm gonna fight this thing, I don't want to give up, I'm gonna fight this.  I was the same person five minutes ago before I got the diagnosis as I was five minutes later.  The choice is now mine.  How do I deal with it?  Well, I get my butt up every single day.  I try to apply myself into something not just for myself but for everybody and it comes back.  Believe me, it comes back.