In October of 2000 I lost my Uncle Marshall Allen to ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Marshall was a gentle giant who stood 6'6", spoke with a soft tongue and loved sports. When he died he left 3 children and 6 grandchildren, he has another one now that he has only met from heaven. Our family watched him deteriorate slowly and painfully, all the while completely aware that his body was failing him and his end of days nearing. You see ALS causes your muscles to waste away and harden. This means that while your mind stays 100% sharp your voluntary muscles that control such basic things as breathing and swallowing, as well as, major things like walking will eventually fail you. If you speak to hospice workers, hospital workers, social workers or whomever, most will tell you this is one of the most difficult and painful diseases to watch someone die from.
When my uncle was initially diagnosed, his family snapped in to action and began solidifying the ALS Association of North Texas. My uncle traveled to Washington DC to lobby for research of ALS. There is no cause or cure for ALS, and it can affect anyone. It does not discriminate race, sex. or age. However, the little we do know says that it is predominately hereditary. Since his passing his wife Linda has been actively involved in almost every aspect of ALS and to this day continues to be.
In 2011, Linda Allen, his wife, was also diagnosed with ALS. BUT I THOUGHT YOU SAID IT WAS HEREDITARY?! AND HUSBAND AND WIFE AREN'T GENETICALLY RELATED?! I did, and they are not, you are correct. Marshall and Linda are one of approximately 10 couples in the ENTIRE WORLD both diagnosed with ALS. RARE to say the least and something our family never dreamed we would have to endure again. A person with ALS will require an average of $127,000 in equipment and nursing care can exceed ten times that amount. As she wages a war against this heinous disease and the degeneration of her body and her family battles to accept these strange and unimaginable circumstances, Linda continues to press on advocating for The ALS Association Texas Chapter.
On November 17th ,2012 we will host an event called Bettin' on a Cure for ALS at House of Blues - Dallas from 7p - 11p featuring live music, food, drink, silent auction, DJ, casino games with fabulous prizes and much more.
Your kindess won't be forgotten. Not by the people who have lost the ability to walk and need the motorized wheel chair or the adjustments to their home to allow them daily access to the things we take for granted. Not by the family who seeks comfort, knowledge and a shoulder to cry on during this painful and scary journey in the support groups. Not the children of our children who will hopefully be spared because of advances in research and treatment. Not one of these people will forget the kindness you have offered up by supporting this cause.