Help me raise money to find a cure for ALS!
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|Date:||Saturday, April 29, 2023|
"You guys come back my right leg just quit on me! What just happened?" These were the words of my wife, Corinne (aka "Gus"), as she was running across the street while on vacation in Colorado in August 2008. She quickly sprang to her feet as our dear friends ran back and carried her across the street in laughter. Little did we know that what seemed funny and innocent on that fateful day was the first symptom in Corinne's 7 year journey with a cruel disease known as ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) or Lou Gehrig's Disease. In the weeks and months that followed, the occasional lapse of function of that right leg became more frequent and a noticeable limp developed. Corinne found herself tripping and falling for no apparent reason. We sought medical help and eventually received the diagnosis from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester in October 2009. You have ALS, prepare to die.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. ALS robs you of your ability to walk, talk, swallow and eventually breathe. It strikes at random and takes lives swiftly. It is always fatal. The average life expectancy of someone diagnosed with ALS is 2-5 years. Corinne was never average and when she finally succumbed to the ALS monster on August 27, 2015 she was paralyzed except for a slight movement remaining in her left hand. She was spared the final indignities of a typical ALS patient near the end of the disease. She could still breathe on her own, though that was becoming difficult. She could still swallow and speak. The feeding tube and respirator were not part of her final ALS experience as it is for so many.
Imagine a disease so cruel that paralyzes your body, robbing you of every voluntary function while your mind remains untouched, making you painfully aware of what is happening to you. Some have nicknamed it "the glass coffin". Ten percent of all ALS patients have the familial or hereditary form of the disease while the other 90% of ALS patients have the sporadic form like Corinne did, meaning there is no apparent cause. Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed and someone passes away from ALS. Over 5,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with ALS every year.
Once again our family and friends are participating in the Mankato Walk to Defeat ALS on April 29,2023 at Spring Lake Park. Our team, Gus Freinds, (purposely misspelled) was the number 2 fundraising team when Corinne was with us and for the last several years while walking in her memory, we have been blessed and happy to be the top fundraising team! Thank you for helping us raise over $150,000 since our team began in 2011 to fight back against this terrible disease. Our goal again is to honor Corinne and her courageous fight against the monster that took her from us all too soon, and offer hope and help to those who live with this disease today. All funds raised go to The ALS Association Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Chapter. They focus on providing services, medical equipment and support to families living with ALS today while also maximizing awareness and advocacy to drive increased ALS research funding. Having experienced the ravages of ALS personally and knowing the cost to the average family living with ALS is $250,000 a year, we cannot say enough about the goodness & effectiveness of this fabulous organization for those dealing with ALS.
And so dear friends we ask once again you would consider helping us with our fight against a cruel and rare disease. While research is bringing us closer to treatments and a cure, an ALS diagnosis today is still a death sentence. You can contribute online by going to our team page: http://bit.ly/gusfreinds , selecting any of the walker names and clicking Donate. You can also send a contribution via check directly to The ALS Association. Better yet, if you would like to be a part of our team and walk with us that day, we would be delighted to have you join us! You can contact me on my cell with any questions at 507-327-7810.
I have vowed that the monster ALS could not take "my girl" and not expect to have to pay. With the help of friends and family we are doing just that. Corinne, no one, should ever have to endure the heartbreak of this horrible disease. Thanks for helping us take steps forward to create a world free of ALS! God Bless.
Bill Brown and Team Gus Freinds
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