For Rocco Curro, it's his wife and two year old son that encourages him to wake up each morning to face another day. As owner of one of Milton's trendiest cafes in Downtown Milton, The Hen & The Roost, you would never guess that the young thriving business owner has Multiple Sclerosis, a neurolo
For Rocco Curro, it's his wife and two year old son that encourages him to wake up each morning to face another day. As owner of one of Milton's trendiest cafes in Downtown Milton, The Hen & The Roost, you would never guess that the young thriving business owner has Multiple Sclerosis, a neurological disease that slowly degenerates simple activities such as movement and vision over time. He says that living with a chronic illness can be complicated, but continues to have hope and carry on with his dreams and passions alongside his family and with his business.
Rocco, was diagnosed just before moving to Milton in early 2012. "We were planning to move here the next month. My first initial symptom was losing nearly all of my eyesight in my right eye," Rocco said. "I'm a licensed mechanic and we were just waiting for our house to be built here and it just so happens that I felt pressure and pain above my right eye."
Not sure what was happening, Rocco followed up with doctors to determine what was going on. "Sure enough, after a week and a half of trying to see what's happening with my eye with going to get CAT-Scans, eye tests, seeing an ophthalmologist, and being sent down to Sunnybrook Hospital finally, the Chief Neurologist came and took me away in the emergency room and said to me I need an MRI done quickly."
By the time Rocco got his diagnosis of MS he was only able to see 5% out of his right eye and was starting to feel major fatigue in his legs. MS is an inflammatory disease and effects everybody differently and with MS effecting not only his vision but his legs as well it meant that Rocco needed to figure out where his career of a mechanic would take him.
Thinking not only about his health and his career, Rocco had to make considerable choices for not only his future, but his family's. "After having MS for two years we were thinking about what I should do?" Rocco said. "Should I change careers?" One of the things that we entertained was opening a cafe as I had experience from the past running a cafe in the 1990's. Right off the bat I knew it was going to be very difficult, without support from family nearby and a baby, it was a gamble, but we went for it."
He plunged forwards and in 2014 Rocco ceased his old career and opened The Hen and the Roost in August of 2014 in Milton with his wife. "Now we see a lot of people liking our place, loving our place actually. We started from nothing over here. We started a brick and mortar business." Rocco said. For the Curro's the encouragement from the community has made all of their tears, fears and hard work worth it.
The Curro's are hopeful their story will make difference for others in illustrating that no matter how bleak a situation may seem, with a dream, passion and hard work, you can conquer adversity.