When Adelaide-based musician Anthony Marafioti was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2016 it could have been a career-ending moment.
But three years later he is still pounding the piano keys and about to bring his show My Life - the Story and Songs of Billy Joel to Shepparton.
Marafioti said when he was diagnosed, he realised the incurable neurological disease could have ended his musical dreams. But instead, he chose a positive approach to the situation.
"You can't just curl up and fade away," he said.
"It was a shock at the time — and there were two ways I could have gone ... I chose positive," he said.
He changed his diet and his preparation for shows which now includes plenty of rest as well as an active lifestyle.
"It's not without its challenges. Fatigue is my major factor. I find keeping busy while resting at appropriate times and a healthy diet has made a massive difference to my symptoms. I take medication daily, but it's a combination of everything and a strong mind that I believe is getting me through.
"I talk to myself a lot, both pre-show and during the performance, which sounds weird. But I sometimes have to convince myself that I'm okay, I'll get through this — and the fact that I'm singing Billy Joel songs overrides any negative thoughts and is probably the best medicine for me," he said.
Marafioti is a founding member of the Adelaide-based touring cover band Keep The Change with more than 25 years of music industry experience.
He is currently touring his Billy Joel tribute show during the music star's 70th year. The show tells the story of Joel's public and private life through audio-visual footage and of course the Piano Man's music, which includes Piano Man, New York State of Mind, It's Still Rock 'n Roll to Me, Uptown Girl and We Didn't Start the Fire.
The Story and Songs of Billy Joel - My Life performs at Riverlinks WestSide, Mooroopna on Friday, September 6.
For tickets and more information phone Riverlinks on 5832 9865 or go to riverlinksvenues.com.au/whats-on
Part of the ticket sales' proceeds will be donated to MS Australia.