I married my husband, Tom, in
1976. I was 18 years old. Two years later we moved to our home in Torrance CA
where we raised our family and built a wonderful life.
In October 2001, at age 43, I
received the terrible diagnosis of ALS.
At the time, my daughter was only 12 and my son was 19. The doctor said I had 2-5 years to live. I
was working full time as a health aide at an elementary school and had many
hobbies including quilting. My husband was a successful tile contractor.
My disease progressed quite
rapidly in the beginning. I had to quit work within 2 months since I could no
longer use my hands or arms and was losing my ability to walk. My wonderful,
amazing and loving husband quit working and became my sole caretaker. We sold
our home in Torrance in 2005 and moved to north Torrance so that we wouldn’t
have a mortgage. It was so hard to do at
the time, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise! We are so happy in
our new home.
Early in my illness, my
family and friends (Ann’s Angels) helped me raise money for the ALSA
organization to help find a cure for ALS. I have also participated in several
drug studies at UCLA. My family and I volunteered at the Jerry Lewis Muscular
Dystrophy Association (MDA) telethon.
My family and friends (Ann’s
Angels) organized two wonderful fundraisers for our family. Because of the
money they raised we were able to purchase a handicapped accessible van. We’ll
be forever grateful and blessed to have their love and support.
I have lost of many of my abilities
such as, my independence, working, driving, walking, hugging my loved ones,
singing, quilting, speaking clearly, and taking care of my family physically.
Yet through it all, I try to remain the emotional strength for my family.
I feel blessed that I am
still here after 13 years. Only 4% of patient’s
survive longer than 10 years. I have been
lucky enough to see my daughter, Laura, graduate from High School, and go on to
become a wonderful medical assistant. I
have seen my son, Kenny, find a successful career in auto mechanics. But most of all I was so excited to attend my
son's wedding to my beautiful daughter-in-law, Angie, in May 2009. I even
danced with my son in my wheelchair!
Angie brought into our family her wonderful daughter Austin age 7.
I’m looking forward as well
to see other family milestones, maybe even another grandchild, and seeing my
daughter Laura’s wedding to Andrew on June 7, 2014! I can’t wait for more
Each day is a blessing and I
live each one to the fullest! My spirit,
faith in God, and sense of hope shines on.
I am so grateful for my family, friends and to God for without them I
would not make it through this journey called ALS.
Dec 06, 2008
Feb 28, 2014
Profile charts require Flash.
If you have problems installing Flash,
visit the FAQ