The day the wheel chair showed up at our home was surreal. Steve had been in the valley of decision about it for several months, his world growing increasingly smaller as his breathing makes walking more and more difficult. While we knew it was time, it was still so hard to absorb that it was happening. I looked at that chair and had to make myself believe it: it was not for an unfortunate stranger, but for my strong husband who is only 51…and this will not be temporary. Unless God intervenes, this chair will become his home. It was what we call in our family, a deep-water day.
You know what helped keep us from drowning in despondency that day? The fact that the chair had been provided by the ALS Association (ALS patients require very advanced, equipped chairs and the Association provided this one for as long as we need it) and they sent awesome, compassionate people to help us navigate this new terrain. They taught us how to use it and answered questions and just quietly…understood. There was no pity, for which I’m thankful because that would have pushed me right over the edge. There was just hope. They gave us hope that this was the right decision, that it would give Steve a new sense of freedom and independence and that, though it was difficult, it was going to be okay. They left us with numbers to call, night or day, if we needed anything. Numbers I have used in the days since.
This will seem like an abrupt subject change, but it isn’t. My birthday is less than a month away. The Walk to Defeat ALS is just two weeks away. We haven’t had much time or energy to put into the Walk this year because we’ve been busy dealing with, you know…actual ALS. The more deeply we wade into these waters, the more we need the help of the Association and the less time we have to put into helping them raise funds.
So, I am giving them my birthday. I am shamelessly asking for help to raise $10,000 for the great work of the ALS Association – the only organization that helps families like mine. Would you consider making my 48th birthday awesome by either joining our team or donating toward our goal? Even just $5 or $10 will make a difference. None of the money comes to us, though you can see that we do benefit from the services the money provides.
For this, and so many things that you – our beloved army – has done, we thank you in advance. We love you.
Bo for Team Stern
Here’s a handy-dandy link for donations!