August reminds me of the ice bucket challenge that began two years ago to advocate for research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [“Ice bucket challenge helps find gene link to ALS,” News, July 28].
Also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS causes certain nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to die. There is no treatment or cure.
I don’t know how this fatal illness got me. It can strike the healthiest of people and the most active. I fell into both of those categories. I had never been really sick, and never smoked a cigarette, took drugs or smoked pot.
I married, had wonderful twin sons and ultimately divorced my husband. My sons are my world and bring me joy because of their positive can-do attitudes. One evening they watched a show called “George to the Rescue” on NBC. The star does amazing renovations to homes of people in need. My house is a two-story Colonial and wasn’t equipped for my life in a wheelchair. I began using a cane five years ago, then a walker and eventually a wheelchair.
My sons wrote to the show, and we were selected! I had had no access to the yard, as my chair wouldn’t fit out the door. A new wall, door and patio were installed, granting my wish to sit outside. I now have a beautiful bathroom and bedroom on the lower level.
There are thousands like me fighting this disease. I beg the drug companies to take heed and expand their research.
So I ask, please, if you see someone taking the ice bucket challenge, don’t look at it as just a fun thing to do. Please donate generously. We have to obliterate this cruel disease.
Terry Sherwood, Farmingville