We’ve all seen the ice bucket challenges going around. Celebrities across the country are donating and bringing awareness to ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrigs Disease. Every post I see, I like on Facebook, favorite or retweet on Twitter. ALS isn’t a widely publicized disease and I’m not sure where all the publicity suddenly came from, but it makes me happy when I see one of my favorite artist or athletes getting involved. The awareness they bring, their time and contribution are all greatly appreciated. It’s fun and should be, but there is nothing fun about this horrific disease.
I’d like you to meet retired Army Sargent Crystal Singer . This picture was taken the day she left for a deployment to Iraq in 2008. She’s thirty four years old, is a wife, a daughter, and an aunt. She is also my sister.
We all have moments in our life that we’ll never forget. Something that you’ll forever remember exactly what you were doing and how you felt when it happened. The birth of my children and 9/11 will always stand out for me, as well as memorial weekend in 2011. It was the day I learned my sister is dying. I hate to put it out that way and it may sound insensitive, but it’s the cold hard truth. There is no cure for ALS. The average life expectancy is two to five years. If you’re lucky you get a little more time, but that’s something we don’t know and must treat every day as a gift.
ALS robs it’s victims of every ability to care for themselves. Once a vibrant woman who jumped out of airplanes, my sister is now confined to a wheelchair barely able to speak and unable to blow her nose, feed herself, or bathe on her own. Although her mind is completely intact, she must rely on someone to care for every one of her needs. I cannot even begin to explain the heartbreak of watching someone you love endure this. We are fortunate in that the military provides everything she needs because many aren’t so lucky. That doesn’t mean we should give up though. Hopefully some day there will be a cure. Maybe not today or tomorrow or even next year, but someday I hope.
Thank you to everyone that has helped bring ALS to the spotlight, but also please remember the real faces behind this awful disease.
My family will be participating in the Lexington ALS walk. Any donations are greatly appreciated.