Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tis the Season

Tis The Season that approaches rapidly, and yet so far out of reach for this fellow. They call it the season of giving, sharing, and the calendar points to one magical day of joyous celebration. Getting to that day is full of anxiety that could easily turn to panic as no one wants to be left out of this celebration. Our minds are consumed in shopping, decorating, wrapping, baking, all these joyous activities that prepare us for this annual event. It is the season of giving and requires a certain measure of personal participation in these various functions if we are to partake in this special day.

This season, imagine not being able to wrap your gifts or tie those holiday bows. Imagine not being able to shop till you drop, stand in long lines, lose your keys or forget where you parked your car. Imagine not being able to partake in any of this. Imagine this season you are bound in a motionless body that moves only in different directions by means of a motorized wheelchair.

This is the case with many people who are coping with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) or better known as Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS attacks the neurons that are attached to the muscles. The result is gradual paralysis. As those with the disease usually die from asphyxia because their diaphragms no longer work, and about 80 percent die within five years of the diagnosis.

This season hits me hard as ALS does not allow me to participate in ways I fondly remember. It was my job to wrap all the presents because I did it best and that contributed to my joy. It was my enjoyment to fill the stockings with the oddest of delightful novelties. Most of all, it hurts this season not to be able to light up my wife's pretty face with a very special gift. This season ALS forces me to partake with eyes wide open and a half-joyous smile.

This season would be magical and special if ALS had a gift of a cure. The season seems to be like many before it, a season without a cure, no cure, no where on the horizon.

If you would like to give the greatest gift without losing your keys or your car, consider a gift to your favorite ALS charity. This is the gift that won't be the wrong color or the wrong size. It will be the gift that puts smiles all around including one for me. Tell them Dr. JM Charcot sent you.

May I suggest, The ALS Association

Happy Hannukah & Merry Christmas

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