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Walking with a Caregiver – Pat Galvin Bloom


February 13, 2020, is the date our world turned upside down. After months of visits to doctors and specialists, MRIs and other tests, and a neurologist who said it was not ALS, my previously healthy, active, athletic husband and I heard the devastating news, Dave had ALS.

Pat & Dave Bloom

Within weeks, a second opinion from a well-known expert in the field confirmed this diagnosis. As two retired teachers who knew little about ALS, we set out to educate ourselves, find the best experts to help Dave, and get him into a research study. One of the first numbers given to us was The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter. 

On March 12, the COVID-19 shutdown began to hit us. “Old school” as we are, Dave and I were used to going to see doctors in person, so we were going to need help to navigate this unfamiliar territory! I found the number for the Chapter, and Nancy & Helen were the answer to my prayers. Through the shutdown and to this day, these ladies have been a “lifeline” giving us hope, information, encouragement, and support. It was because of them we attended our first “Walk to Defeat ALS” in the Hudson Valley in 2021. 

Coming out of the Covid shutdown that first ALS Walk was an amazing experience!  After months of feeling so isolated, Dave and I were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support. Our modest fundraising goal was reached within hours of our FB post!

On Walk Day, Dave used his Whill C2 power chair for the first time and we finally met Nancy and Helen in person!!  The energy and enthusiasm were inspirational as we set out across the Walkway over the Hudson with family and friends. 

Team Bloom!

Our 2nd Hudson Valley Walk to Defeat ALS was just as awesome!! It was a beautiful day, and the foliage was in full color. Team Bloom grew to 36 walkers! Our youngest team members were three of our granddaughters who helped Grampy cut the ribbon to begin the walk. 

For us, the Walk to Defeat ALS is an opportunity to raise needed money for research and to help support the great work of the ALS Association of New York. We have raised over $11,400.00 to date through the generosity of so many of our friends and family members. This inspirational event provides the opportunity for friends and family to rally in support of our amazing husband/father/brother/uncle/grandfather/colleague/friend who inspires us each day with his positive attitude, determination, strength, and love as he fights this devastating disease. 

Dave says it feels good to be surrounded by so many people affected by ALS. The ALS Walk provides strength, momentum, and a push to stay in the game!

Why do I walk? I walk in gratitude for everyone working to support the ALS Community. I walk with the hope that a cure will come soon. I walk in love to support Dave, the love of my life, my ALS warrior! 

Thank you to the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter!!

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