Evan Agostini, AP
"I exercise moderately and have a lot of sex!" the country singer divulged on 'The Fran Drescher Tawk Show.'
In the wake of his diagnosis,Clay also found an unexpected new hobby that he believes was instrumental in turning his health around. "I learned how to cook," he explains. "I learned how to take care of myself. I started eating a lot of fish, a lot of vegetables. I never cooked before. That was the beginning of something very good because I love cooking now. My wife sits around the kitchen looking at me, smiling. She loves me because I cook."
The father of four, including two children under the age of two, vividly recalls the moment his life changed forever. "I was in Canada, in very cold, extreme conditions," he recalls. "I developed a lazy leg. It was like my whole right leg was asleep. I couldn't put my fingers together, I had double vision, which was the scariest of all of it."
A follow-up appointment with a neurologist confirmed the devastating news. "They diagnosed me and told me the prognosis was grim," he continues. "They told me I'd be in a wheelchair in four years and probably die in eight years."
Heartbroken, Clay says he quickly turned fear into motivation. "The whole thing about diseases -- or conditions, as I like to call them -- you got it somehow. Try to reverse it. Do everything you can."
Clay adds that he's now in remission, "relapse-free for 14 years," thanks to both his healthy regimen and the drug, Copaxone. "I encourage people who have MS to look into a therapy, whether it's holistic or conventional," he notes.
Clay has turned his private battle into a public crusade. Forming the non-profit Band Against MS (BAMS) in 2003, the platinum-selling singer works with the organization to raise funds for research and programs offering financial assistance for those battling MS, as well as offering encouragement and support, and educating the general public on the debilitating disease. Raising $2 million already, BAMS recently donated $50,000 to Stony Brook University Medical Center in Long Island, N.Y., to fund pediatric research for children battling MS.
"The answers are slow to come, but we're not at a dead end," he tells the Wall Street Journal (quote via his website). "Through research, we're going to give these kids the future they deserve."
Clay's ninth studio album, 'She Won't Be Lonely Long,' debuted at No. 5 on the charts earlier this year. The project, he says, is a culmination of all he has learned as an artist since his first single, 'What's It to You,' hit the airwaves in 1993. "'She Won't Be Lonely Long' is the best album I think I've ever recorded, from start to finish," he tells The Boot. "We've had some big hits, and I've enjoyed all of them, but as far as complete albums go, my first album is the only one where I've ever looked back and said from start to finish that's a completely, absolutely, no-regret album. Now I'm saying the same thing with this one. And that's the first time I've done that in a long time."
Clay will spend much of the next few months on tour, promoting his latest album. Find his tour schedule here.