Friday, December 30, 2022

$2, far


I will earn this!

To donate to my Facebook fundraiser, please go here:

If you don’t want to do that option, please consider a donation direct (hosted by PayPal Giving Fund):


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Searching for a Hardcharging Volunteer to Join Our Team

Digital Media and Graphic Design Lead

As a collaborative team member, the Digital Media and Graphic Design Lead provides critical support for NEVER STOP NEVER QUIT charitable projects. Beginning early in 2023, your focus includes taking the lead on content creation for broadcast, social media, interactive, and digital branding strategies.


A push like we have never seen before is already underway for 2023. Others need professional enhancement (this is where we need a strong team member).

- Website improvements.

- Documenting a video journey of a potentially game-changing rehabilitation treatment.

- Social media shorts and commercial advertisements (a few are already templated).

- We are always on the lookout for other fresh concepts to enhance the fantastic work that our team does.

We have an extensive network of donors and supporters, but we need to do more if we want to reap the benefits we expect to realize in the next year. To do this, we need to sharpen our presence. Our board of directors considered the impact a talented addition to our team could have.


We’re pretty loose in this area but looking for someone who has significant experience in both digital media and graphic design, proficiency with web-based apps and services (Adobe Creative Cloud), and a strong portfolio of social media engagements.

Though the Portland, OR area is preferred, there are no location requirements for the ideal candidate.


We don’t carry paid positions for our directors or supporting members, but we will cover expenses and pay for software tools/subscriptions that you need for any development projects. Plus, there is the tremendous impact you will make supporting our nonprofit vision!

About the Organization

NEVER STOP NEVER QUIT is a charitable organization with the mission of raising funds, supporting treatment, and promoting awareness in the fight against multiple sclerosis (MS). Since our inception in 2003, we have helped raise over $800,000 to support our fight. You can learn more about our organization and our story here:

If you are interested in exploring the scope further, please email We are most interested in previous experience (a portfolio of your work) and your thoughts on the position.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions or comments.

It will never stop…nor will we

It will never quit…nor will we

This is why we fight!

Never Stop… Never Quit…®

Monday, October 24, 2022

Stop Putting Veterans at Risk


Fraud and identity theft are plagues raging across our country like wildfires. Unfortunately, our veteran communities are not immune. The roughly 18 million Americans who served in the US Armed Forces[1] were the source of more than 110,000 fraud complaints, including 44,039 imposter scams that reportedly cost them over $103 million in 2021.[2] In addition, reports, “Veterans are more than twice as likely to have their identities stolen than American civilians.”[3]

The Department of Veterans Affairs has undertaken a number of efforts to help veterans protect their identity, determine if their identity has been stolen, and report fraud and identity theft cases when they are victims. You can find more information about their initiatives at

If you suspect that you may be the victim of fraud or identity theft, you can call the VA Veteran Identity Theft Helpline at 1-855-578-5492. Their hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., ET.

TRICARE also provides information on how to spot and report fraud and abuse:

I sincerely appreciate everything the VA and TRICARE are doing to safeguard our veteran communities. But regrettably, both networks regularly endanger those same veterans because of unsafe practices. This must stop right away.

Note: the examples I share are my personal experiences. They are not, however, isolated incidents. These practices and problems are widespread in our Veterans Health Administration and TRICARE networks.

“If you are ever contacted by phone or email, don’t share any personal information and report the incident to your contractor immediately.”

I received a call the other day on my cellphone. The caller ID read TOLL-FREE NUMBER. In the past, I would let a call like that go straight to voicemail. Spam calls appear as TOLL-FREE NUMBER. Do you know who else calls with that ID? The VA hospital and TRICARE network. Missing calls and playing voicemail ping-pong with the VA are painful experiences. Since I have so many appointments with my providers, I am now in the habit of picking up on those annoying spam callers.

This call was from TriWest, the Western US provider of TRICARE health services. They needed to talk to me about urgent medical information for Kevin Byrne.

My first response was the obvious choice: “What kind of urgent medical information do you need to review with Kevin Byrne?”

But before answering my question, they needed to confirm some information. The contact asked me to provide my full name, date of birth, and the last four of my Social Security Number.

I apologized, saying, “I don’t give information to random callers from unknown toll-free numbers.” I refused to provide any of my personal information, despite aggressive demands from the caller that I do. Instead, I called a known TriWest contact number, where I bounced along through several people until someone could pull up this “urgent” information. They were trying to schedule a routine test, even though I had already scheduled the appointment weeks prior. The call was unnecessary, and it most certainly was not urgent.

My response was not what every veteran would do, nor was it the reaction my TriWest caller expected. The normal and expected response is to provide all requested personal information in a less than confidential format.

We are grooming our veterans to hand over confidential personal information for no other reason than because someone calls and says they are official.

The FCC provides valuable information on their webpage, “Consumer Tips to Stop Unwanted Robocalls and Avoid Phone Scams.” Included on this list are recommendations for responding to scammers that fit the profile of the call I received (I leave it to readers to decide if they have had similar experiences in their regions).

  • Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.
  • You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed. Be aware: Caller ID showing a “local” number does not necessarily mean it is a local caller.
  • Do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with “Yes.”
  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
  • If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company’s or government agency’s website to verify the authenticity of the request. You will usually get a written statement in the mail before you get a phone call from a legitimate source, particularly if the caller is asking for a payment.
  • Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.

Make No Mistake: scam callers will target individuals by using fake credentials and pressuring statements such as, for example, that they are calling from the VA or TriWest and need to talk to you about urgent medical information.

Our trusted providers set a dangerous expectation for our veterans on handling personal identifying information. Some may resist the pressure, though, in the past, I admittedly have shared information more freely than I should have. Others, especially our most vulnerable, can be lured into dangerous habits. We are grooming our veterans to be top targets for individualized scam calls.

Maybe your reaction is, “I don’t have that problem. I just go straight to the VA for everything in-person.” I used to think that way when I was a (relatively) healthy disabled veteran…

“The mission of VA Privacy Service is to preserve and protect the personally identifiable information (PII) of Veterans, their beneficiaries, and VA employees by promoting a culture of privacy awareness and maintaining the trust of those we serve.”

Over the last two and half years, Covid-19 has led to many changes in our world. One noticeable difference at my VA hospital is the large space between healthcare administrative staff and veterans. That’s a good thing, as it keeps us a little safer in this strange new world.

Sadly, here’s a typical conversation for me, the staff member, and anyone else within 20 feet:

“Good Morning. I’m checking in for my 9:30 appointment.”

“Last name.”

I give it.

“Last four.”

I give it.

“Can you confirm your date of birth?”

I confirm it.

“Can you confirm your address?”

I confirm it.

Suppose one person sits in the waiting area of 20, 30, or more veterans. How much confidential information can they collect because the VA is having us shout across barriers in public? I will not try that experiment, and I don’t recommend anyone else take matters into their own hands to see how much PII they can collect.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes the vulnerability of our veteran community increases due to “the older average age of veterans compared to the general population, as well as the increased risk for mental and physical health problems.”[iv] When we go to the VA, we might let our guard down. This might happen because:

  • We are older and might not be familiar with the current dangers of identity theft and fraud.
  • We are sick, so we might not have the energy or awareness to fight identity theft or fraud.
  • We are used to following orders, especially within our organization structure and command.

I think the next time I go to the hospital and face personally identifiable questions, my response will be, “I would rather not shout it in the room. Can we go somewhere to discuss this or any other confidential information?”

How is that going to work? If it is going to be a problem, it already is a problem.

The Veterans Administration and TRICARE must implement immediate corrective action to stop putting our veterans at risk.



Kevin J. Byrne

Captain, US Army (Retired)


Kevin Byrne has been an advocate and a voice for veterans finding multiple sclerosis since his diagnosis in 1999 while serving as an Air Cavalry Troop Commander in Korea. You can learn more about his fight at

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Announcement #2 – Free Promotion


To celebrate the rerelease of these four published books exclusively on Amazon, I’m running a free Kindle promotion from Friday through Tuesday (August 19 – 23).

Go to my Amazon author page if you would like to own a free copy of:

My MS and E

…in abeyance

Annie Flynn – first row, second desk


Of course, you can always buy a print copy anytime through Amazon. Contact me directly if you would like a copy signed by me (and E). Kindle prices will go back to normal on Wednesday, August 24.

100% of all royalties go directly to NEVER STOP NEVER QUIT, a charitable organization supporting the fight against multiple sclerosis.

Never Stop… Never Quit…



Please consider a donation to NEVER STOP NEVER QUIT.

100% of your donation will directly support our fight. We pay the cost of managing our foundation.

All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. You will receive a receipt.


Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Announcement #1

I'm excited to announce my rerelease of four published books exclusively on Amazon (paperback and Kindle versions). 100% of all royalties go directly to NEVER STOP NEVER QUIT, a charitable organization supporting the fight against multiple sclerosis.

Click on the link to my Amazon author page if you would like to purchase any of the great titles out there:

This is preparation for the release of my next novel. Sensations will come out in early 2023.

April 27, 2034 – Eleanor Nickerson developed technology that records and recreates human emotion. Once labeled the 21st century’s greatest gift, a worldwide crisis places her against government attempts to control the experience and the underworld’s exploitation of our need to feel. Ellie now faces her truth when pressed for the vision of her creation:

“I am not a God.”

“But what if you were?”

Never Stop… Never Quit…



Moments (novel)

Dominic Bandall is a condemned man. A once powerful attorney in New York City, he and his law partner, his wife Sharon, focused on their never-ending fight for justice. Now an aged man, his body is battered from the crippling ailments he has endured in his lifetime— his mind is burdened by the memories of the 9/11 attacks that killed Sharon and so many.

On February 28, 2019, a young law student named Angela Grant met him at his office in Honu‘apo, Hawai‘i, to conduct a series of interviews. What transpired over the next 10 days began with his first confession: “I can see moments in time, Angela.”


… in abeyance (a novella) and

Christopher Baxter is a man recognized for his accomplishments: West Point graduate, medical doctor, combat veteran. Chris is also a condemned man-a man who struggles with the familiarity of circumstances he has carried his entire life.

Nothing else changes; no mystical stories or tales of fantasy. What would you do if humanity stopped dying? As the world struggles to come to grips with dormancy, is one man-Chris Baxter-just another unwilling participant, the curse, or their salvation?


My MS and E is a children’s picture book depicting a typical interaction between Kevin and his daughter, Eleanor. They share an unbreakable father-daughter bond, even in the face of his ongoing struggles with multiple sclerosis.


Annie Flynn - first row, second desk (short story)

Annie Flynn knew early on where life would take her. “The northeastern region of Syrtis Major Planum. That’s where I’m going to land.”

Experience the magical life of Annie Flynn, from those early years in the first row, second desk to humankind’s first landing on the red planet.



Please consider a donation to NEVER STOP NEVER QUIT.

100% of your donation will directly support our fight. We pay the cost of managing our foundation.

All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. You will receive a receipt.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Save the Date!

 Monday, January 31, 2033

Place and Time: TBD


Dear Standard Insurance Company, all executives and employees,

Please save the date for my celebration of tomorrow and plan for an exciting future.

Why January 31?

Way back, in February 2022, one of your disability benefits analysts presented me with an offer regarding my long-term disability claim with your company. I was honored that he would “like to offer an opportunity to settle your claim in exchange for a lump-sum payment.”

It’s every little boy’s dream to be chosen for such an honored opportunity, especially since “The Standard does not routinely settle LTD claims for a number of reasons.” I won’t lie, I was tickled pink.

Unfortunately, after several rounds of misleading calculations and not-so-veiled threats, like “we know that you write books” and “if you do not accept the offer, you will still have to regularly validate your ongoing disability (to prevent fraud)”, I was still unable to understand how you came to the lump sum dollar amount presented. I’m pretty good at math, so it was odd that my calculation was quite different. I said it was wrong — he said it was right, showing me “the full three pages of the present value calculation you received.”

I thanked him then showed him again, this time in detail, how his calculations were wrong.

And the Truth Shall Set You Free!

Nevertheless, your determined analyst persevered, taking my question regarding the deductible income adjustment to your actuarial department.

Imagine his surprise when he found out that there was another variable not included in “the full three pages of the present value calculation!” I wonder if you can imagine my surprise; I can’t.

Apparently, “the present value calculation process incorporates actuarial mortality assumptions.”

So, since your team did so much hard work and determined the correct mortality assumptions for an individual living on disability with multiple sclerosis, I figured I would take the baton and do some more of that math I love so much.

By the calculation of your actuarial department, discounting for the time value of money, my life expectancy is 131 additional months. I will be dead by the end of January 2033, at the ripe old age of 61.

Let’s Just Pretend

I know your guys are smart, but please humor me for just a moment. What if I become a medical wonder and exceed the medical expectations of Standard Insurance Company’s actuarial department?

That would be nice. I would definitely want to celebrate.

Therefore, please save the date. When I’m not dead on January 31, 2033, I would like to celebrate with all my close family and friends, and with my advocates at The Standard. There will be food, drinks, music, and lots of celebration. I may even have a piece of cake!

In the Meantime

I have lots of party planning to do. Thank goodness I have 131 months. Formal invitations will follow as we get closer to the event.

In the meantime, here’s some wonderful reading for your actuarial department about the life expectancy of individuals living with multiple sclerosis. It was published in 2020 by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke — Wow! Say that five times fast with a mouthful of crackers.

“Multiple Sclerosis: Hope Through Research”

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

The disease is rarely fatal and most people with MS have a normal life expectancy. New treatments can reduce long-term disability for many people with MS. Currently there are still no cures and no clear ways to prevent the disease from developing.

I have enough challenges to deal with daily, so please don’t try to stack the deck against me more.

Please consider this an official decline of your opportunity.

I hope you’ll still come to my party!



This is not about what my life will be like when the fight is over.

I will never stop…

I will never quit…

This is my story

Never Stop… Never Quit…®


Please consider a donation to NEVER STOP NEVER QUIT.


100% of your donation will directly support our fight. We pay the cost of managing our foundation.

All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. You will receive a receipt.




Monday, February 21, 2022


Chaos – 2022

I first wrote this piece in 2018 as a preface to explain the logic behind my collection, The Ramblings of a Condemned Man. Four years later, as a new world began to take shape, I decided to dust off these digital pages and revisit my rationale for using the word.

“Chaos” is not a perfect choice, but it is the best explanation I can supply when I address the inevitable question, “What are you thinking?”

My life has always been rife with chaos. Some of the turmoil was inflicted on me — I am merely a victim. Other times, I have been guilty of instigating disarray. Of course, chaos is often a simple fact of nature. My most memorable moments occurred when all three energies combined. As to the correct proportions of responsibility, prudence would expect me to split much of the blame between nature and others. However, I can’t fault the darkened skies of nature for somber winter moods any more than I can blame her absence for summer drought. And, though others have been witnesses, partners, even agitators to my stupidity, I cannot lay blame on them for the chaos my mind wrestles with. I take ownership of it all.

I don’t believe my body experiences a greater share of hardship when compared to others. My mind, however, finds it challenging to see beyond the chaos, many times to the detriment of peace and beauty around me. Looking back on my life, images that most often come to mind are the chaotic, the horrific, and the truly burdensome. At some point in the past, my brain let go of many great recollections for some unknown reason. The memories that remain often play second fiddle to my demons.

In and of itself, confronting chaos is not bad. You can achieve a great deal of satisfaction by solving impossible challenges, overcoming overwhelming odds, or righting the wrongs around you; it’s the calling of every superhero. But, when or where does it end? At what point will our hero look beyond today’s villain, stop reminiscing over yesterday’s evil, and forgo anticipation of tomorrow’s plight?

It must be nice, taking off the cape to enjoy the win and rejoice in today’s treasures. But unfortunately, this freedom is not afforded to condemned men. My sentence is the recurring vision of chaos. The reality of my multiple sclerosis (MS) antagonizes turmoil already deep inside me. Twenty-three years later, I remain fascinated by the continuous thrashing my body has undertaken since my diagnosis. My mind constantly rattles its dedicated response to every emotion and fear I possess: “What’s next?”

I am indeed a condemned man, but not for the reasons you might assume. The chaos of my MS falls mainly into the last category: it is a simple fact of nature. I’m not a victim of my disease; MS is just another obstacle in life. Compared to other forms, one powerful difference with the chaos of MS is that an answer exists to the question, “When does it end?”


Writing is my way of soothing all forms of chaos, easing the daily wounds they inflict on my mind and body. I began this adventure in 2008, writing stories meant only for our unborn daughter. Ailish never joined her mother and me in this world. Weighted by grief, we experienced an agony once unimaginable to me. I wasn’t yet mature enough to simplify this emotion as chaos, but I was drawn to continue writing my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about life to someday share with someone. On August 28, 2010, Eleanor was born. I remember thinking, “I already have so much to tell you.” Everything I write in those pages is for her to read when she receives my journal, and it becomes hers.

Later in 2010, writing became a response to the increasing chaos caused by my MS. The blogs I still write are my way of expressing hope that someday there will be an answer to “When does it end?” By exposing everything to my readers through my blog and confronting chaos, I raise awareness in our fight against the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis. More importantly, the more I write about the chaos of my MS and share it with others, the more my fears lessen. The semi-biographical character named Kevin Byrne now carries the weight, not Kevin Byrne, the author. In 2017, I published My MS and E, a children’s picture book version of a recent blog post. It tells the story of how Ellie beautifully navigated my world MS during one magical trip that created moments so wonderful. There is no chaos in the world that could ever dampen those memories.

If writing helps me cope with my MS, why not apply it to other aspects of my life?

As it turns out, I was already doing that exact thing. In 2014, while Ellie spent the week at OMSI camp (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry), I spent that time in an East Portland internet café drafting the novella …in abeyance.

So, I went back and finalized the story with this new outlet of expression. The main character, Christopher Baxter, is a personification of the chaos I carried with me for far too long. Chris is who I am, was, wanted to be, feared, struggled to overcome, and so much more, wrapped up and scripted into an entirely fictional persona who lives in a fictional world (with a heavy smattering of historical context in this alternate reality). Placing the turmoil onto Chris’ shoulders relieved the burden from my own.

I began to write stories overflowing with the anxieties of my unrest. Sometimes an entire saga addressed just one struggle I faced. My favorites are those based on the utter confusion in my head that I can’t quite accurately describe any other way. Some stories are dark and gruesome; others express a more thoughtful perspective. Alternate realities became a surrogate for the chaos I could not otherwise express.

Regardless of why I wrote the stories, sharing my chaos this way helped me sleep a bit better. Maybe it discounted my fears. Perhaps it validated them. However, I hoped that my therapeutic benefit from writing paled compared to the enjoyment you receive from reading my tales.

I gathered some of my favorite stories and, through the NEVER STOP NEVER QUIT private foundation, published The Ramblings of a Condemned Man in 2018. They were the words I wrote or revisited to help me battle a harsh struggle with MS and personal chaos that lasted nearly two years.

In the blink of an eye, it was 2022.

I got a call last month regarding the progress of my MS. It was from the insurance company that handles my long-term disability; one of their actuaries determined that my disease is now considered “total, permanent, and irreversible.” I asked them why they deemed it permanent AND irreversible, rather than just one or the other. He didn’t understand the question.

The insurance company was my final holdout, still tracking how I progressed, hoping I would get better. Now, it’s unanimous.

In the four years since I first shared “Chaos,” my body has weakened, my muscles have atrophied. I deal with the constant pain of chronic neuropathy, torn muscles and tendons, bladder diverticula, scoliosis, and a host of other symptoms. I guess permanent was not sufficient to describe just how fucked I am — my condition is permanent AND irreversible.

In the four years since I first shared “Chaos,” I am happier and more at peace with life than I have been for many, many years (my brain lost track of that last moment).

Writing became a release for so much chaos it quickly became my drug of choice. I published …in abeyance as a separate novella, followed by Annie Flynn – first row, second desk. My first novel, Moments, and a short story collection, Triune, soon followed. I was writing away the constant noise of my chaos as quickly as it built. I continued to write and share. I battled back against my physical decline by increasing my hours in the gym. I continued to reverse the effects of poor diet and nutrition by dropping the excess weight my body could no longer handle. I looked better, felt better, sounded better.

But, like any euphoric drug, addiction has a dark side. “Just to make the pain go away” became my reason for living. Healthy beneficial activities are neither healthy nor beneficial when they become an obsessive focus. My writing suffered; my body began to feel the pain of overexertion; my weight dipped far below a healthy target. I replaced one set of chaos for another — if I do that long enough, they will both rise up and crush me. As everything worked so much better on the outside, my thoughts focused on, “I don’t want to live like this.”

In October 2019, I stopped trying to fix the broken in favor of building my life. When I thought my 17-month journey was complete, I began to share “Reconstructing and Defining Kevin” with my readers. Over the next four months, the real work began. I exposed flaws in my effort to repair “something broken” in my life. I was still searching for resolution; I continued looking for closure. I found neither.

There will never be a lasting resolution of my priorities. Each concern I hold dear will require attention and care for the rest of my life, more on some days than others. Nevertheless, I embraced my discovery and their connection to the Seven Dimensions of Wellness.

But that’s another story…

What Does This Mean for My Chaos?

Though it is still there, chaos no longer controls my life. I recognize my memories, fears, and anxieties as subconscious responses to my surroundings, yet they no longer trigger. Only through my capacity to monitor then positively regulate those responses in each dimension of existence can I profoundly affect my wellness.

What Does This Mean for My Writing?

I want to breathe life into pages far beyond anything I have accomplished to date, telling tales conjured up by my constant noise. No longer will I look to put words down solely to ease my anxieties. Instead, I will write stories because sometimes I smile as my mind floods with the images I create. I may laugh, cry, or even nod my head in approval of the tale. On other occasions, the crafted images chill me to the core. I want to elicit a bounty of reactions as I breathe life into stories, narratives, reflections, and rantings.

Rebuilding and Rebranding

I have begun the process of removing my published works from distribution. After cleanup and revision, I’ll re-release my titles through these channels:

·         Books: My MS and E, …in abeyance, Annie Flynn – first row, second desk, and Moments, will republish. Publishing and distribution channels are still in negotiation. 100% of all royalties received will continue to NEVER STOP NEVER QUIT in support of our fight against the damaging effects of multiple sclerosis.

·         Short Stories: the remainder of The Ramblings of a Condemned Man and Triune will publish for free on my blog site, I just want to share; If you enjoy the stories, please consider a donation to NEVER STOP NEVER QUIT.

On the Horizon

After these changes, my focus will revert to the stories that flood my mind.

·         My short stories will continue. I have been busy sharing tales over the last few months. I have no plan to slow down.

·         Sensations, my next novel, is tentatively planned for the end of ’22 or early ’23. More to follow.

·         My journey, documented in the raw blog series, “Reconstructing and Defining Kevin,” is currently under revision and will gain new life as a piece I hope will help others as much as it guided me on this journey.

·         I will continue to blog, sharing sometimes-too-much detail on my journey. There is so much in motion now; the days are not nearly long enough.

To those who think my disability is permanent AND irreversible, you may be correct. However, the thought doesn’t scare me. My writing is no longer an exercise based on anxiety, fear, and resistance.

I choose to focus on what my writing is — what it is for myself and what I hope it brings to the hearts and minds of my readers.


February 2022


This is not about what my life will be like when the fight is over.

I will never stop

I will never quit

This is my story


Never Stop… Never Quit…®

Kevin Byrne

Portland, OR

Please consider a donation to NEVER STOP NEVER QUIT.

100% of your donation will directly support our fight. We pay the cost of managing our foundation.

All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. You will receive a receipt.