Will Downing Illness: Overcoming Adversity with Grace

Will Downing, a renowned American R&B and soulful jazz singer, was diagnosed with Polymyositis in 2007, a rare autoimmune disease that weakens the muscles of the body. Despite facing some of the most challenging health conditions in life, Will is still known for his velvety voice and his ability to inspire people with his music. This article is about Will Downing’s illness and how he overcomes adversity with grace.

The Diagnosis

Polymyositis is a rare autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks its muscles, leading to muscle inflammation and weakness. The disease is characterized by difficulty in swallowing, pain in joints, fatigue, and weakness in muscles. The diagnosis of Polymyositis can be challenging as its initial symptoms such as muscle fatigue and muscle stiffness can be mistaken for common muscle aches and pains.

Symptoms of Polymyositis

  • Muscle weakness in the hips, shoulders, neck, and back
  • Difficulty in swallowing food
  • Inability to stand up from a sitting position without using hands
  • Falling frequently

People with early symptoms of Polymyositis may experience difficulty in performing their daily routines such as dressing up, working, walking or climbing stairs, driving, or even eating. A comprehensive physical examination, blood tests, and imaging techniques such as MRI scans are used to diagnose Polymyositis.

The treatment of Polymyositis

Polymyositis can be treated by the use of powerful medications such as corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, and immunosuppressants to suppress the overactive immune system. While there is no cure for Polymyositis, early detection and appropriate treatment can significantly help overcome its effects. Regular physical therapy and exercise are also essential in managing muscle weakness conditions.

Managing Physical limitation

Will Downing’s Polymyositis diagnosis did not break him. He has managed his physical limitations by following a well-designed physical therapy program and taking his medications regularly. He admits that managing Polymyositis is full of ups and downs as it requires adjusting to a new and more limited normal. Nonetheless, he maintains that it is essential to remain positive and consistent with medication and therapy to stay on the top of the condition.

The Role of Music in Overcoming Adversity

Will Downing is an example of a person who has overcome adversity with grace. Although it was not easy for him, he found solace in music, which allowed him to focus on his strengths and keep working on his craft. Will’s journey from diagnosis to finding a way to manage his disease is inspiring as it proves that the power of music can help even in the worst of situations.

We Can Learn From Will’s Journey

Showcasing a positive outlook, Will is an inspiration to many who face challenging situations in their lives. He never lost hope and found a way to stay motivated to keep going despite his condition. What we can learn from Will’s journey is how to cultivate patience and resilience in the face of adversity. Like Will, we can find ways to turn our struggles into something productive by tapping into our strengths and using them to push forward.


In conclusion, Will Downing has shown us that it is possible to overcome adversity with grace. Through his music, he has shown us that we can turn our challenges into something productive by tapping into our strengths, focusing on the positive, and staying consistent even in adverse conditions. His journey is a reminder that anything is possible as long as we remain consistent in our efforts and remain positive in our outlook. Let us never forget his words of inspired wisdom – “Keep your dreams, and your dreams will keep you.”


  • Q: Can Polymyositis be cured?
  • A: Polymyositis is not curable. Still, with early detection and appropriate treatment, its effects can be significantly reduced, and better quality of life can be maintained.

  • Q: What Causes Polymyositis?
  • A: Although Polymyositis can affect anyone, it is more prevalent in middle-aged women than men. The cause of Polymyositis is unknown, but it is believed to be an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s muscles.

  • Q: What are the common signs of Polymyositis?
  • A: Common signs of Polymyositis include muscle weakness, difficulty in swallowing food, fatigue, muscle pain, and achiness.

  • Q: Can physical therapy help manage Polymyositis?
  • A: Regular physical therapy and exercise are essential in managing muscle weakness conditions.

  • Q: How does Will Downing manage his physical limitations?
  • A: Will Downing manages his physical limitations by following a well-designed physical therapy program and taking his medications regularly.

  • Q: How did Will Downing overcome Polymyositis?
  • A: Will Downing has not overcome Polymyositis. Still, he has managed his physical limitations by following a well-designed physical therapy program and taking his medications regularly. Moreover, through his music, he has shown that it is possible to turn our challenges into something productive.


  • I.Shirota, Polymyositis: Diagnosis and treatment, Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism, 1992, 22(3), pp. 180-191.
  • A.Malik, J. Hayes & E. Deen, 2020, Polymyositis, StatPearls, Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing.
  • J Tanno, K Taguchi, Polymyositis and dermatomyositis: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management, Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 1992, 55(10), pp. 958-961.

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