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Personal Amount Raised:
Personal fundraising goal: $2,000.00
Help me defeat ALS!
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I first learned of ALS when my cousin, who was in her 30s, was
diagnosed with ALS. I have vivid memories of her being unable to talk
or move, her head strapped to a backboard in order to hold it up. She
communicated by her warm smile.
In 1999, I had a colleague and friend who was diagnosed with ALS. His
name was Loris Buccola. Loris was an amazing man; a skilled clinician
with a big heart and warm smile and super competitive. As a cyclist,
he wanted to be at the head of the pack and enjoyed nothing more than
riding younger cyclists off his wheel. In fact, his first indication
that something was going on in his body was that he was not recovering
from rides as quickly as before and he did not have the strength in his
As Loris began to use a cane and have difficulty walking, I offered my
help should he need it. That offer evolved into becoming one of his
morning caregivers when he was no longer able to care for himself. Thus
began a six-year period that I consider to be one of the most
meaningful experiences of my life. Each Saturday morning, I would arise
at 5:00, get in my truck and drive an hour to Silverton to get Loris
out of bed and up for the day. The morning routine of bathroom duties,
showering, shaving, and getting dressed provided time for meaningful
interaction and conversation.
I loved Loris and became a member of his extended family. It was
difficult watching ALS slowly take away his ability to move, eat (which
he loved to do), breathe on his own, and eventually talk. Everyone who
has this disease eventually winds up in the same place - unable to
move, unable to talk, unable to breathe or eat on their own. Most still
with minds as active as they were before.
Loris and his family were instrumental in the inception of this local
chapter of the ALS Association in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Loris was fortunate in having wonderful family and community support.
He recognized that most are not as fortunate as he.
That is why I support the ALS Association. ALSA provides the research
that is so needed in order to defeat this disease. Until that time,
this local chapter supports over 500 families each year with equipment,
technical assistance, support groups, financial assistance, and
assessment. They serve the ALS community regardless of the individual?s
financial resources. Obviously, this takes money and that is why I am
I hope you will participate in one or more of four ways:
* Join my team -- Guys and Gals Riding for PALS
* If you are unable to ride, give some money
* Volunteer the day of the ride or before
* Pass this on to others
Thanks for reading. I hope you will join me and others as we ride to
Why We Need Your Help
Often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, fatal neuromuscular disease that slowly robs a person of their ability to walk, speak, swallow and eventually breathe. The life expectancy of a person with ALS averages only 2 to 5 years from the time of diagnosis. In a very short period of time, the person and their family need a myriad of services and support. Every 90 minutes a person in this country is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes another person will lose their battle against this disease. ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries. This crippling disease can strike anyone.
Everything The ALS Association does advances the search for effective treatments and a cure. The ALS Association leads the way in global research, provides critical assistance for people with living ALS, coordinates multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fosters government partnerships. All of these efforts must happen in an effort to defeat ALS!
Throughout the State of Oregon and the six counties of SW Washington, The ALS Association’s local chapter exists to provide critical programs and care services, free of charge, such as, but not limited to:
- On-staff Care Services Coordinators who offer individual support and home visits to assess needs, suggest equipment, connect with local resources and help families plan.
- ALS Association Certified Centers of Excellence and Clinic partnerships with Providence Brain & Spine Institute, Portland VA Health System, OHSU, Kaiser Permanente, St. Charles Health System, The Center and Asante Health System.
- Medical Equipment Program in partnership with Numotion and Norco Medical to loan equipment to aid in daily living activities and with mobility.
- Chapter Grant Program that funds a myriad of reimbursable, ALS-related expenses such as respite care, counseling, co-pays for healthcare costs, home modifications, and more.
- Monthly Support Group Program for people living with ALS, family members, and friends.
- Support and resources for children, in partnership with The Dougy Center, who have ALS in their families.
Help create change in the ALS community. Support my efforts or sign up to participate with me today!