If someone asked you, “Come along and walk a difficult journey with me.”, would you join them? Most of us would rather walk only where we are comfortable and our thinking is unchallenged, if the truth be known. Most of us prefer a bubble-boy existence, don’t we, free from the inherent dangers of life?
But life isn’t that way. Life challenges us to often walk uncharted trails where dangers surround us. Who among us hasn’t encountered a challenge in life that disappoints, uncomfortably surprises, or even shocks us to the core? Threats to job, relationships, health, faith, among other things, tend to reshape us and mold us. But those life challenges make us into far more “seasoned” veterans of life as we age.
I’ve been challenged in a dramatic way lately and it has reshaped the way I live today. I referred to this challenge in my home page article. But while this blog and the book I am writing will not dwell upon my diagnosis, “My Journey” blog posts will be devoted to sharing my journey with ALS with you.
I promise to be honest with you at all times but I hope I’ll not share in a way that evokes pity. My only goal is to make us all more aware of this disease and what we can all do together to eradicate it from humanity.
“I don’t know what your destiny will be but this one thing I do know: The only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” – Albert Schweitzer
I spent the first 10 years of my career serving the needs of children and adults with disabilities, first at Gateway Training Center in Peru, Indiana, then with the Indiana Easter Seal Society in Indianapolis. For much of my career, I’ve raised funds to advance the cause of people with disabilities then of older adults at Peabody Retirement Community. I never would have guessed, when I first started my career with those wonderful people at Gateway Training Center in 1982, that I would one day need the very services I championed for them. I never knew, while raising money for the nursing facility at Peabody Retirement Community, that I might one day, much sooner than I could have imagined, need their services.
I was diagnosed with ALS in June of 2016. Now, more than at any other time of my life, I am pressed with an intense urgency to make a difference, to serve others. I have this urgency not because I want help for me because I know the work of research for a cure and effective treatment takes time and money. At this point, no cure is on the horizon and what treatment there is only extends life for the ALS patient about a month.
I press on as one in the last mile of a marathon to leave a legacy for those who follow all of us. I want to be counted among those who sacrificed time, money, and talent to find a cure for our children and our children’s children. The goal of “My Journey” is to educate, raise funds, advocate, and challenge everyone to do the same.
My entire purpose for living the rest of my life is to live a story worthy of retelling over and over again and to inspire others to do the same. I can think of no greater story worth retelling than to be among those who helped eradicate this disease.
I hope you’ll follow my blog but also “My Journey” within it.