‘Survivor’ star to speak at MS fundraiserWritten by Lisa Renee Ward | | email@example.com
Austin Carty gained recognition for being on CBS’s “Survivor,” but a family member’s example of real-life survival brings him to Toledo. Carty’s mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999. He will speak in Toledo on March 19 at the Women Against MS Luncheon at Gladieux Meadows.
Carty was on the 12th season of “Survivor — Panama Exile Island.” The 27-year-old old lives in High Point, N.C., and spoke to Toledo Free Press by phone.
TFP: When you were voted off, you talked about how you were tested by having to balance your morals and your belief system. Later, when you appeared on the “700 Club,” you stated, “’Survivor’s’ not a game show, it’s a microcosm of life.’ Almost three years later, do you still feel the same?
Carty: I still feel that same way, absolutely.
TFP: If you had the chance to be on “Survivor” again, would you do it, and if so, would you play the game the same way you did the last time?
Carty: I would jump at the chance. I don’t think anytime I could imagine saying no. It was just such a good experience; to be able to do it again would be great. If I could do it again, I honestly think that I would play it pretty much the same way that I did the last time.
Is there a speaking engagement you’ve done since “Survivor” that stands out in your memory?
Carty: I could answer that in a couple of ways. The one that first pops into mind is speaking at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., that’s Rick Warren’s church. We did six services and I think it ended up being 22,000 people.
In terms of the two most impacting, I got to speak at an International School based out of Seoul, South Korea … they invited me to be the speaker/discipleship mentor for a group of about 50 middle school kids on their spring break; they took them to Indonesia. I was with them for a week, to be able to experience their culture, to spend time with kids aged 13 to 16, spending time with them on the beach, I had a good deal of time with them. These were kids from all over the world; they were kids whose parents’ business ventures had brought them to South Korea and it was just a really neat opportunity to be with them.
Then, the one other would be speaking at the National Multiple Sclerosis Convention in Chicago this past November.
TFP: You’ve written several books. What’s next?
Carty: I have a book being released in February of next year by Penguin that is called “Coke on the Rocks.”
TFP: There’s a reason why the fight against MS is a bit more personal for you.
Carty: My mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the summer of 1999 and since then it has, of course, been something that I have been very passionate about. I’m really excited about coming up there, and I hope that a lot of people will be able to come out and really rally around this cause.
It’s obviously a cause close to my heart, but there are so many people that are out there. The awareness is growing about multiple sclerosis. I would appreciate anybody’s support.
Tickets can be purchased through the Northwestern Ohio Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society by calling (419) 897-9533.