Can you imagine watching the person you love beginning to wither away? Can you imagine knowing there is help, and yet beyond your grasp? Can you imagine living this nightmare?
My husband’s name is Joel. He’s the love of my life. He’s cherished by our children, adored by our grandchildren, and revered by his students at Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality. Unfortunately, each day I lose a little piece of Joel to ALS. I must stop this! If you are familiar with Lou Gehrig’s disease, you are aware of the toll it takes and with the unrelenting force of its attack. After initially battling this deadly illness, and watching the early deterioration of Joel’s body, we have found a treatment that is slowing the progress of the disease.
ALS is vicious, leaving it victims incapacitated, and eventually immobile. Joel has been part an experimental treatment that is showing successful results. However, we can no longer continue it, due to a lack of funds. This protocol rebuilds the muscles that break down as ALS progresses. Treatments average $1,100 each, and to be effective must be administered at least twice a week. Insurance does not cover this. We have used all of our resources in an effort to continue Joel’s treatments. I have sold anything of value, from paintings my father left me, to the jewelry my Joel gave me through the years. These things have no value other than the help they provided for Joel. I no longer have anything left to sell!
We are now starting to observe the drastic toll this disease takes on the body…a body once so healthy. Joel is young, just a little over 60, and we share the dream of so many, that of growing old together. We envisioned how late in life we would take walks hand in hand. We always pictured sharing a warm hug with a young grandchild pulling on Joel’s trousers. Oh, the dreams this disease has put on hold…. BUT there is hope, and there is progress.
Research is being done, and this treatment definitely sustains Joel’s condition. With it he will be here when the cure is found. Without it, there are no words.
“He who saves the life of one man saves the entire world.”- Talmud
Joel is my life. He makes this world a better place, not only for our family, but for all of those whose lives he touches. He is a teacher, a mentor, a role model. He shares knowledge, gives joy to others, and motivates so many to learn, to grow, and to give back. Please help me keep Joel alive. We need YOUR help. Give us more time to laugh, to cry, to love, and more time for Joel to spread his light.
You are our last hope. Please, don’t let us be alone. Please, don’t let us be forgotten.
On behalf of Joel and myself, we thank you!