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News, author: Natalie Swaby, January 12, 2018 (Video here)


Gary Fisher has a progressive form of multiple sclerosis, but an app is helping him better communicate.

Eileen and Gary Fisher married in 2002 with five kids between them. Over the years, the Lake Tapps couple’s family kept growing, but they were also dealing with something devastating.

“You go from being an active person all of your life, and all of a sudden you can’t do anything,” said Eileen.

She is talking about her husband, Gary. He lost the ability to walk. He could no longer move his hands or arms. It’s what brought him to Dr. Ted Brown at EvergreenHealth ten years ago.

“Gary has a progressive form of multiple sclerosis,” said Dr. Brown.

“He kind of had fallen off the face of the Earth because he couldn’t communicate with anybody,” said Eileen.

“I felt down, depressed. I wasn’t looking forward to the next day, and now I am,” said Gary.

What turned things around for him was technology called Open Sesame. It’s an app he downloaded to his tablet. It allows him to control the cursor with head movements. If he turns to the right or left, up or down, so will the cursor. That plus integrated voice control and a front facing camera have given Gary a better way to communicate.

 “I can check messages and keep up with my kids,” he said.

“It’s opened him back up to looking forward to another day instead of dreading another day of just sitting,” said Eileen.

He’s been using the app for more than a year.

“I feel like I am able to contribute to our family and do something besides be a burden,” said Gary. “It’s been everything.”

Open Sesame is an Android app that costs $14.99 a month.

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