The Southern California Chapter proudly presents Eric Small with the Dorothy Corwin Spirit of Life Award. Eric was chosen for this award because he exemplifies a true "spirit of life," synonymous with a sense of a grace, dignity, character, humor and strength of purpose.
Eric was inducted into the National MS Society's Volunteer Hall of Fame in recognition of his outstanding volunteer support of the organization, for making a difference in the community, and for advancing awareness of the Society's mission, to end the devastating effect~ of multiple sclerosis. Eric has been volunteering with
the Southern California Chapter for more than thirteen years. In 1988, he created the chapter's yoga program. Eric continues to help obtain support for this program as well as others, such as the Marilyn Hilton MS Achievement Center at UCLA. For twelve years, Eric has been traveling throughout the United States and internationally, teaching workshops for yoga instructors, classes for student~ and speaking at various programs.
Eric, a certified Iyengar yoga instructor is a special inspiration to anyone who has a disabling disease like multiple sclerosis. Diagnosed with MS fifty years ago, his dream was to expand his work with therapeutic yoga and bring this program to others throughout the MS community. He has worked diligently to make that dream a reality. The Eric Small Yoga Program has grown from his first class of ten student~ living with MS to now thirteen locations in the chapter area, reaching over 400 individuals. The program also served as the model for numerous Society chapters and helped launch other chapter-sponsored physical activity programs, including classes and workshops in aquatics, Pilates, Feldenkrais, Stability Ball, and Tai Chi. He developed the video, "Yoga with Eric Small," to teach people with MS at all mobility levels how to incorporate yoga into their lives.
Over the years, Eric's knowledge, creativity, patience and humor have empowered many - not only student~ with MS, but others living with disabilities, as well as instructors. We salute Eric Small, a man who continues to use his resourcefulness and perseverance to improve his life, and ultimately to touch and improve the lives of thousands in this Chapter and throughout the country.