Howard’s Team – Introducing MS Champion Joaquin Zavala

three men standing next to each other

Howard’s Team is pleased to welcome Joaquin Zavala to the team as our newest MS Champion.

Joaquin’s introduction to MS came after an alarming experience with losing vision in his left eye in 2015. This condition, Optic Neuritis, inflames the optic nerve and is often associated with MS. Because of this experience, he understands not knowing an underlying cause for any ailing symptoms creates anxiety and confusion. Fortunately, after receiving his diagnosis, he found the right treatment plan, regained vision, and began treating his MS. However, reflecting on earlier symptoms in his legs predating 2015, he also understands the frustration with healthcare when navigating this disease.

Joaquin attributes his nearly two-decade long expertise in health care to obtaining his Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. And, in turn, is happy to have found a community of support through the National MS Society and Bike MS. He now seeks to be an advocate for others who may have symptoms that could or are attributed to MS.

First riding in 2021, Joaquin continues to participate and fundraise with Bike MS, Bay to Bay in Southern California. He appreciates the community of friends found with the Bike MS. He remains thankful for the MS Society’s programming geared towards those living with MS and the fundraising efforts to find a cure. A cure is on the horizon due to the Society’s aggressive fundraising efforts for research. In the meantime, and after four tries of alternate treatment plans, Joaquin receives yearly infusions that has stabilized the progression of his disease.

Raised in Kelseyville, a small Northern California rural town, he moved to San Diego in 1999. After graduating from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Administration he started with Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego. Never leaving, he currently serves as the Manager of International Programs and Patient Services with Rady Children’s Hospital.