A Pitt County Sheriff’s Deputy has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and while the disease has affected his day to day life and caused him to give up the job he loves most, he still continues to do what he can to help the community.
When you walk into the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Tim Peaden is usually the first person you will see. He’s been with the department for 24 years, but he hasn’t always been sitting at the front desk. For many years he was out patrolling helping to stop crime in the community; that is until a year ago when a disease with no cure stopped him.
Peaden was diagnosed with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. There are many symptoms of the disease. For Peaden it’s created problems with his short term memory, walking and made him feel more tired. MS has not only affected him physically, but also emotionally. Peaden says, “It really changed a lot of my plans in the future, I’ve had to come back from a lot of trials.”
Peaden had to stop his law enforcement work in the field and face the uncertainty that he might never again do the work he loved. Peaden says, “From day to day I just have to manage what I do, I just can't jump up and do the things I used to do, I have to know my limitations, and pretty much deal with them in between.”
There are 5,200 people in North Carolina that are living with MS and 400,000 people in the United States. After Peaden was diagnosed he had a lot of questions and went looking for some answers. He says one of the biggest things that helped him was when he contacted the National MS Society and they sent him publications and literature that helped him to get back on track.
He also got support from his family and his co-workers at the Sheriff’s Office. Peaden says, “It's good knowing that people are behind you.”
Peaden realized his life was not over. He now takes daily medication which helps him to work. Although he is not able to be out patrolling, he is happy to be at the Sheriff's Office working with community members. He has also taken a new active role in raising awareness about MS and money to help those with the disease, which is why you will find a whole lot of footprints around his desk.
Each footprint represents a dollar that someone is donating to Walk MS of Greenville. The walk will take place on April 30th. The Sheriff’s Office has their own team to support Peaden called Team Blue Line. So far they have raised thousands of dollars.
If you are interested in signing up for the walk or want to donate you can click on the link below for more information.