Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Town Supervisor Steps Down After Fighting Myasthenia Gravis For Two Years

Hornellsville supervisor will leave post at end of year

ARKPORT — Fighting myasthenia gravis for the past two years has been a chore for Ken Isaman. After 28 years as a Hornellsville councilman and supervisor, he will say goodbye to town government at the end of 2017.

The 69-year-old Republican, who also served for 12 years on the Steuben County Legislature, told the Hornellsville Town Board Tuesday night that he will not be a candidate for reelection in the fall. Isaman has been battling health issues
in the last couple of years and was known to be considering this decision for the last several months.

“A little story goes with this,” Isaman said during the “Supervisor’s Report” portion of the meeting. “Twenty-eight years ago, I sat at the end of this table, and my ex-high school biology professor was bragging how he sat on this board for 25 years. And I said, ‘Who the hell would ever serve that long?’ But I did. I’ve been there ever since.

“I’m not going to seek another term. I wanted to make sure that we got that out to the public because we’re going to need somebody running for the position, being Republican or Democrat.”

“It’s not an easy job, but it’s a rewarding job.

“I hope everybody thinks I’ve done a decent job over the last few years.

“Illness has beset me some, too, but I keep fighting that.”

Isaman told The Evening Tribune that he has been battling myasthenia gravis for about two years. The illness has resulted in frequent muscle pain. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles responsible for breathing and the moving parts of the body, including the arms and legs.

The name myasthenia gravis, which is Latin and Greek in origin, means “grave, or serious, muscle weakness.”

Certain muscles, such as those that control eye and eyelid movement, facial expression, chewing, talking, and swallowing are often (but not always) involved in the disorder. Available treatments can control symptoms and often allow people to have a relatively high quality of life, according to the Institute of Neurological Disorders. Most individuals with the condition have a normal life expectancy.

Isaman’s condition, which has resulted in a pronounced softening in his voice, did not go unnoticed by colleagues.

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