|Cathy Standish was reading through her husband Fred’s travelogue when she came up with an idea to honor her late husband. Fred was diagnosed with ALS in December of 2015 and unfortunately lost his battle last month. He left behind a wonderful travelogue documenting all the places he lived and worked throughout his career as a reporter for the Associated Press.
“Fred would take pictures of himself in the homes where he lived and at local landmarks. It’s a log of every small bureau and town or city he worked,” Cathy said.
Since Fred’s diagnosis the travelogue has taken on new meaning. Cathy is determined to be a part of The ALS Association’s Walk to Defeat ALS in every city her husband has lived and worked. This includes more than 20 cities across the US. They will then travel Greece, where Fred worked, for their own honorary “walk.”
“I think he would be really happy with my plan, he would feel the travel log meant something and there was a reason for it. Through the travelogue we are bringing awareness and hope to the ALS community,” Cathy said.
She said the decision to tackle nearly 2 dozen Walks to Defeat ALS was an easy one.
“I have a neighbor a couple doors down who also just lost a family member in NJ from ALS. ALS touches so many more people than we think. I think it touches everybody, it may be 6 degrees of separation, but I believe it affects everyone in some way,” Cathy says.
|Cathy says her motivation to keep going stems from the strong bond, love and respect she shared with Fred. She said even at the very end she did what she needed to help keep Fred’s spirits up. “I would do silly little things like disco lunch time when it was time for his tube feeding. I would play a horrible disco song because Fred hated disco. And certain things like that would make him laugh and I always tried the best I could to keep him up,” Cathy said.
She admits it wasn’t always easy helping Fred keep his fight, while also taking care of herself. Cathy says it’s important to remember your own needs as well as your loved ones.
“Be kind to yourself, and have self-compassion. If you get in a fight it’s ok. My husband and I had arguments over silly things like where to hang a picture. Just because you’re a caretaker doesn’t mean you’re not their spouse anymore. Take time for yourself; every minute you can take time for yourself,” Cathy said.
Fred spent time working for the Associated Press in New York so on her walk list is the New York City Walk to Defeat ALS on May 6th.
“I’m really looking forward to coming to NYC and feeling the energy of the city. I know amongst all the people there will be so much hope, and I will be so excited,” Cathy said.