Ross Phillips is a 66 year old from Delta, BC, living with Neurofibromatosis Type One (NF1). NF1 has been in Ross’ family for five generations. His mother also had NF1, which was called Von Recklinghausen Disease at that time. Two out of four of Ross’ siblings inherited NF1, including Ross. Fortunately, Ross has a fairly mild form of the disorder and does not have any internal tumours. He has had a few elective surgeries to remove surface tumours from his skin. When asked how NF has affected his life, Ross proudly states, “I think it has made me stubborn. If someone says I can’t do something, I like to prove them wrong.” Ross has two children and two grandchildren, who fortunately do not have NF.
Eight years ago, Ross suffered a sudden stroke in his home while having a bath. He called to his wife who worked at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), who knew his symptoms were that of a stroke. She called 9-1-1 immediately. Thankfully, Ross has almost fully recovered from the stroke, but he still cannot drive. Ross suffered brain damage and his brain does not receive messages from his eyes. His balance is also affected.
Ross is now retired, but he worked in the software industry for ten years. Before that, he worked for the Hudson Bay Company, managing all of the restaurants in British Columbia. In his free time, Ross loves painting and sketching. He also enjoys working with stained glass. He used to enjoy pottery, but hasn't done much of that lately. Ross used to be a long distance runner and has always had a passion for running. Even after all of the challenges Ross has faced due to his stroke, he still walks/runs three miles a day. Despite a few falls due to his poor balance, he puts one foot in front of the other and never gives up!