Former Corporal Jason Kelley, USMC credits an ultimatum from his grandfather as the motivation to get after his life. He told Jason “Get a job, go to college, or join the military!”. At the time the high school graduate wasn’t too interested in sitting in a classroom, jobs were scarce, so he went to sign up for the Air Force. At the recruiter’s office, a few Marines were playing catch, and a conversation with them was all it took for him to sign up as a Marine.
Jason loved his time in the service, enjoying the structure the Marines offered him, and while stationed at Fort Pendleton he enjoyed being close to the ocean and swimming every chance he got. The water provided peace and quiet from the world around him. He was later stationed in Okinawa, Japan, where he got to experience snorkeling, and he has always hoped scuba diving would be in his future.
For the past 13 years Jason has experienced constant pain and looking back he now knows Multiple Sclerosis has been with him most of his life. Thinking back he often got dizzy while running, and had unexplained pain, and small clues that didn’t seem to add up. It just didn’t rise to the level of concern until it started affecting his mobility. Two years ago his diagnosis was elevated to primary progressive Multiple Sclerosis, and he currently struggles to use his legs and uses a manual wheelchair most of the time.
Hearing about Dive Pirates from veterans in the Las Vegas area who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis, Jason was excited to learn to dive and hopes to be free from pain to enjoy that escape the water once offered him.