No One Knows the FutureAugust 30, 2011
by Linda Finley Belan
Something that FFC members have in common is that we’re investing in ourselves. Young, old or somewhere in between, we still believe that we have enough control over our bodies and our lives to make a positive difference. So, we pay our dues, we show up, and we work out.
At the age of 37, my son Michael, like many of you, was investing in every area of his life. He had a beautiful wife, Michelle, two daughters, Claire and Paige, ages 5 and 3. They were just settling into their dream house in Redmond, WA, where Michael had accepted a job the year before as a marketing strategist for Microsoft.
It was the end of February, 2006. I was visiting them. Michael was in terrific physical shape and was training for a marathon. But, he was bothered by symptoms for which his doctor was recommending tests. When he mentioned the symptoms, my heart stopped. A friend of mine had manifested the same symptoms twenty years earlier and that friend had died of ALS. Within 3 years, so had Michael.
Michael had the most severe form of ALS. He lost his ability to speak in 10 months. After a year, he never hugged Claire and Paige again. In 18 months he was on a feeding tube. By two years, he was completely helpless. He was incredibly brave and it was an honor to be part of his journey. Michael died four months after his 40th birthday.
I want you to look around. Look at your friends and family. Look in the mirror. Anyone can get ALS. There is no treatment or cure for ALS. The only control you have over this disease is to give generously for a cure NOW before you or someone you love must face ALS.
If you would like to give toward researching and finding a cure for ALS, please visit http://www.joinmda.org/ffc.