Monday, October 22, 2012

Walk to Defeat ALS

Every year, we walk to defeat ALS in my dads memory. There is not to many times any more that I actually talk about what happened to him. I like to focus on the good memories and the good times with him, and all the wonderful things about my dad rather than the way in which he had to leave the world. And I could probably write a book about all of it really. There is too much to say that will not fit into a simple blog entry.

But I will say that as a child to watch their father suffer the way he did was almost unbearable and the last couple nights, watching this man who I thought was made of steal, slip away from us after only 4 months of being diagnosed with ALS, is something that I am still not completely over and probably never will be. You see, we don't know what causes ALS and we don't know why certain people get it. There is evidence that it could be from repeat trauma to the head, like from playing sports, which my dad did and he had many concussions when he was younger, but further research needs to be done. Once they find out what causes it, we can work on finding out how to cure it. But until then, it is a death sentence. If you get ALS, you will die. And I am being very blunt about it because it is reality and it was my dads reality and it was our families reality, and it always will be to some extent.

Raising money for ALS will not bring my dad back but he did say after the one walk that he participated in that it was the best day he had since being diagnosed. All those people walking and cheering, full of hope, full of determination, brought him hope. And so we do it every year because there are so many that are still suffering and every minute, more people are getting diagnosed. That being said, it is very hard on me emotionally because as I mentioned earlier, I would rather focus on the happy times, and the walk brings up a lot of not so happy memories from when my dad was sick. I am not sure if I will be able to continue doing it the future, but it was important to me that my babies were there this year.

We could not keep the people away and I should have counted how many people asked to take their picture. Definitely a first for me to get that much attention because of them. I mean we get it, but this was just crazy. The nice thing about it was though, the people would then ask my tie to ALS, and who was George and I get to tell them that he was my dad and that this little baby Georgia is his granddaughter and she is named after him. It really was special.

The babies did great as usual. There was no crying at all. They were all smiles. Then right towards the end of the walk, Georgia and Mickey fell asleep in the wagon. It was adorable!!! Jolynne was not tired at all, she was ready to play with everyone and no way was she going to miss out on anything!

Our team raised $445 and the total raised by all teams was $306,343.88 and they are still accepting donations. Thanks again to everyone that supported us this year and especially to those that donate and walk with us every year. To me that says you truly understand the importance of why we do it and it means the world to us.

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