In Memory of my mom Leann Marie Freedle (9.25.56 - 12.17.15)
Grandma Joan Kidd and Diane Lindstrom
"The self that we are, will carry our loved one's imprint forever."
Please take a moment to read...
My mom was diagnosed with ALS in April of 2014. ALS loomed over her head for years, as her mother and aunt passed away from ALS. There are two different types of ALS, sporadic and familial. Sporadic, which is the most common form of the disease in the U.S., accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all cases. It may affect anyone, anywhere. Familial ALS (FALS) accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all cases in the U.S. Familial ALS means the disease is inherited. In those families, there is a 50% chance each offspring will inherit the gene mutation and may develop the disease (The ALS Association).
My mom first realized her diagnosis when she was in the Grand Canyon with my uncle. She had a difficult time lifting her legs up while walking up stairs. She kept this quite from my sister and me until she was sure. I had noticed while grocery shopping with her, that she fought to have control over the grocery cart. I now realize it was because she needed assistance in walking. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their demise. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, people may lose the ability to speak, eat, move and breathe. The motor nerves that are affected when you have ALS are the motor neurons that provide voluntary movements and muscle control. Examples of voluntary movements are making the effort to reach for a smart phone or step off a curb. These actions are controlled by the muscles in the arms and legs (The ALS Association).
ALS is quick to progress and it was not long until she was in a motorized scooter and even quicker to be bedridden. She always found light in every situation we were in; Like the battery dying on the steep hill at Ecola State Park. During the course of multiple doctors appointments and blood draws, she was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. I will never forget the squeeze of her hand and the brave face she held during her bone marrow aspiration test.
Along the side of a battle with Medicare, we had the ALS Association on our side. The Association offered 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. Medical Equipment Program in partnership with Numotion and Norco Medical to loan equipment to aid in daily living activities and with mobility. They helped with her cane, scooter, motorized chair, Cpap machine, etc. The Oregon chapter RECEIVES NO GOVERNMENT OR INSURANCE FUNDING - we rely solely on our events, corporate and personal gifts, and local foundation grants.
Please help people living with ALS and their generations to come.
Lets work together to support those affected by Lou Gehrig's Disease in our local communities and to spread awareness of the urgency to find treatments and ultimately, a cure.
Please consider supporting my efforts by giving a tax deductible donation towards my goal. Please know any amount helps and every dollar makes a difference.
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 The ALS Association is their one-stop-shop. Familial ALS (FALS) accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all cases in the U.S. Familial ALS means the disease is inherited. In those families, there is a 50% chance each offspring will inherit the gene mutation and may develop the disease.
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.
The ALS Association Oregon and SW Washington Chapter supports families living with ALS at each and every stage of the disease. Through local monthly support groups, medical equipment loan closets, caregiver support, partnerships with multi-disciplinary clinics, and so much more - services are provided at no cost to the person with ALS and their family. The local chapter receives no government or insurance funding, but is supported through events like the Ride to Defeat ALS.
Join me to ride for someone else's life July 20th in and around Mt. Angel.