16 msfocusmagazine.org By Tony DiGerolamo “It brings me great joy to know that I’ve done something today that will touch someone's life.” Derrick Lee, associate director of Quality of Life Programs and Services at MS Focus, is one of the longest-tenured employees at MS Focus: the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. “I started out as a caseworker in 1999 and quickly found out that this was the right place for me.” With 18 years of experience, it’s clear why Derrick is such an excellent fit here. “I absolutely love helping others. I feel that we’re doing something special here.” Beforejoiningtheteam,Derrick’sknowledge about MS was limited to celebrities who had the disease. “I just knew that Richard Pryor and Annette Funicello both had MS. Pryor was my favorite comedian and my mother loved Annette Funicello from the Mickey Mouse Club.” Derrick has since become a bit of an expert on assisting the MS community. “I’m responsible for our toll-free support line – 888-MSFOCUS (673-6287). It's my job to make sure our team is ready to handle the needs of the MS community.” Derrick works with and oversees MS Focus’ staff of support service coordinators, who answer the support line and provide assistance for the people who need it. His involvement goes deeper than his time in the office, though. In fact, if you have ever attended an MS Focus educational event, chances are good that you’ve met Derrick. “I travel to MS Focus events and interact with the MS community that way. I speak about MS Focus, spend time with our presenters, and talk to the attendees. I answer their questions and listen to their stories.” Derrick admits he draws a great deal of inspiration from his travels. “That’s myfavorite part of traveling for MS Focus – meeting the people we help. When you can see, in person, how appreciative people are for our services, and how much better they’re doing after some assistance, it is just so rewarding. It’s a wonderful reminder about how much the work we do means to the MS community.” When he isn’t hard at work at MS Focus, Derrick has a spectacular second profession. “I’m the singer in a family band called the Lee Boys. We’ve had the opportunity to play Derrick Lee MS Focus Activities