The James Family Story

 In the 1980s Alex James was heading down the path of the American dream.  A bright student and gifted basketball player, he earned his degree at Harvard and then transitioned into a promising job at IBM.  There he met Liz, a woman so beautiful it took him weeks to gather the courage to ask her out; after he did, they dated for four years, fell in love, and married in 1985.




Alex and Liz spent five years as newlyweds before deciding it was time to try for children.  In 1990 Liz became pregnant with the twins, Will and Matt, and things couldn’t have appeared more perfect.  The first cracks began to form when Liz began experiencing odd complications here and there culminating in a loss of vision.  The doctors were working to restore her sight when they confirmed her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.  At first the disease progressed slowly, allowing Alex and Liz to live out the first three years with Matt and Will just as any typical family with two young children would.  However, life changed dramatically during the twins’ third year checkup when doctors diagnosed both Will and Matt with muscular dystrophy; Matt was also diagnosed with autism.

Today Alex James’s life couldn’t be further from what he once envisioned.  He quit his job with IBM and went back to school to learn how to become his family’s full-time, primary caregiver.  Now he tends to their every need from the time he helps them out of bed in the morning to the time he lays them down to sleep at night.  He in no way thinks of his daily routine as a burden; instead he views his life as an opportunity to become more intimate with his family than he could have ever imagined.

  • Learn About MS and MD


    is an unpredictable, autoimmune disease often disabling the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body.   MS is thought to affect more than 2.3 million people worldwide, and the average person in the United States has about one chance in 750 of developing MS.  If the present day medicine had been discovered when Liz James was diagnosed with MS in 1991, she would not be where she is today.  By getting involved, you can make a difference in helping to find a cure for this debilitating disease.



    is a group of genetic diseases in which muscle fibers are unusually susceptible to damage.  These damaged muscles progressively become weaker over time.   There are more than 30 forms of muscular dystrophy and they all cause muscle weakness and muscle loss.  Some forms appear in infancy and childhood and others may not appear until middle age or even later.  There is currently no cure for muscular dystrophy, but treatments can help with the symptoms and prevent complications.  By getting involved, you can help MDA continue its worldwide research efforts and nationwide service programs to help individuals with neuromuscular diseases and their families.



User Login