Jennifer Paris via Crowdrise
August 28, 2012
BENEFITING: Prize4Life, Inc.
ORGANIZER: Prize4Life, Inc.
Everyone has days they will never forget: first days of school, wedding days, birth of a child… For me, I will never forget the day my dad shared the news that changed the course of our family’s life. On July 11, 2010, Spain won the World Cup trophy and I received a call from dad inviting me over for pizza and wine. Nothing unusual about the invitation- we always have family dinners- add the fact that two of my sisters were in town, and I was more than happy to accept. After dinner and many laughs, my dad begins to tell us he had some bad news. What we didn’t know was that earlier that week, Thursday to be exact, he had an appointment with a neurologist. For a little over a year prior, he struggled with little tremors in his hands and arms. And for a little over a year, doctors conducted different tests, always the same conclusion: stress. On this particular Thursday, however, the doctor did not have the same reply. He told my dad, "Get a second opinion, get a third opinion, but I have diagnosed over 200 patients and you have ALS." Dad went to this appointment alone not thinking he would have been blindsided by that kind of news. After the appointment, he had to go home and tell his wife of only 3 years the news that he was diagnosed with ALS. Fast forward to Sunday evening sitting around the dinner table, I can say for certain, that was the worst day of my life. I didn't know much about the disease; anyone you talk to who is not directly affected by this horrible illness knows little more than Lou Gehrig suffered from it and that it is fatal. The inevitable Google search doesn’t provide much optimism: death in 2-5 years, slow loss of movement in limbs, loss of speech, loss of ability to eat and breathe... the list goes of losses goes on. But what is gained?
To answer that question, let me tell you a little about my family.
When people say they love their family and how awesome they are… no one means it as much as we do. It’s a proven fact! Ask around the areas we reside- from California to Florida, Alabama to Massachusetts- you will not find a family more energetic, more fun, more loving and more AWESOME than ours. The support system just within our family walls is immeasurable. Take that and add our friends and loved ones and I am pretty sure we can move mountains.
My dad is not alone in this fight and everyone near and far has helped in one way or another. I have chosen to help by fundraising and running. In the two years since my dad’s diagnosis, Team Hammy has raised over $30,000 with our voice and words alone. I am not a doctor, I cannot find the cure, but I can help raise money to drive the research and education. Two years ago, I was not much of a runner, now I run because my dad cannot; running my first marathon for the P4L team is my little way of giving him some of the strength he has lost.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I truly believe that ALS is a disease that is underfunded and does not have enough attention. It needs a voice. Research is vital and will be the only way to discovering not only the cause but a cure and treatment. Your donation will not only help me reach my goal and give me incentive to continue on this grueling training, but help Prize4Life move in the right direction towards a cure.