Wow, what a difference a year makes! This time last year I was reaching out to all my friends and loved ones to share the unbelievable news about the fact that the last EMG test my neurologist conducted did not find any evidence of ongoning motor-neuron death. Thankfully, that is one thing that has not changed this year and my health has continued to hold. My neurologist remains at a loss to explain the lack of disease progression and disability, and I am happy to keep him confused. I am so grateful for the extended period of strength, health and happiness life has provided me.
Unfortunately, feelings of gratitude about my personal situation seem overshadowed by the recent developments the new year has brought to our world. Clearly we are all impacted by the "COVID Pandemic" to one degree or another. Please stop and try to imagine for just a moment what it would be like if you or a loved one was dealing with ALS in addition to all these same new challenges. I say "try" because it is unlikely any of us (including me) can possibly imagine how difficult it would really be. Fortunately, the ALS Association works hard to help and support people living with this terrible disease, even (or especially) during a Pandemic!
So this brings me to a big challenge this year - COVID and the resulting "new normal" of constantly shifting rules and regulations about public gatherings and events made the "RIDE TO DEFEAT ALS" impossible to hold in its traditional format and venue this year. Fortunately the local chapter has found a way to still hold the event in a different "socially distant" format. Gail and I are committed to doing everything we can to support them, so we will be riding our bikes on a local 20-mile route near our home rather than as part of the large group event traditionally held near Mt. Angel, Oregon each year.
We are kicking off our fundraising campaign by donating the first $500 to our team account, and we hope you will join us by contributing in any way you can. Anything you give will directly touch the life of someone who has few if any other options. Your generosity will provide some relief, some hope, some comfort, some added time, and some love to people who fight hard every moment of every day to make the most of their lives in incredibly difficult conditions.
Thank you so much for anything you can do to help,
Wishing you and yours health and happiness!
Ron and Gail Parker