Why is the Walk to Defeat ALS so important to patients, caregivers, friends, and family?
Even more than the sense of community, love, and friendship on Walk Day, your support of the Hudson Valley Walk to Defeat ALS provides much needed care and equipment to patients as well as advancing research for treatment and a cure for this devastating disease. Each of our Walk Teams have their own unique stories about why they Walk each year. We’d like to share one of those stories with you about Team ALStars for a Cure – Team Max
who Walk in honor of Max McComb.
The first time I heard of ALS was the year of the Ice Bucket Challenge when my company supported the cause and challenged people to donate and participate as a group outside our corporate headquarters in Manhattan. Little did I know that a few years later, this disease would affect me personally.
My husband, Max, started with slurred speech back in March of 2015. Thinking it was a possible stroke, we went to the doctor only to find that this wasn’t the case. It took many various specialized doctors and tests to finally determine and confirm in January 2016 that it was ALS of the bulbar. Since that day, our dreams of moving and retiring were put on hold so that we could understand and focus on this debilitating disease. Over the months ahead I have seen an active man who had a passion for food, cooking, baking, and canning change before my eyes to no longer being able to eat, drink, or taste by mouth. The disease weakened his tongue and throat muscles and also robbed him of his voice. He can only communicate by texting on his phone or using a whiteboard. I have seen a physical change in him week to week and month to month. The disease continues to rob him of life and has now affected his legs. He has trouble walking and standing or even getting up from a chair. Simple movements that we do involuntarily and take for granted are now a challenge for him.
ALS is a horrible disease and a life changing event. I hope that people will become more aware of how this can strike anyone and what challenges you face. The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter has provided great support to my husband and me.
These people are truly dedicated and caring and provide you with resources and support to help you get through the journey.
Most importantly, we need to find a cure so that others in the future can get to live out their dreams. I encourage people to donate to the cause and participate in the Walk to Defeat ALS. It’s a great event that provides love, hope, and support to the caregivers
Mary Jean McComb
Team ALStars for a Cure – Team Max