This lady’s name is Jane Spaulding - she’s our Mom and in that photo, those are her grandchildren with her whom she cherishes.
Mom is the really bubbly woman visiting with everyone at the local store or the post office. She’s larger than life; remembering everyone’s birthday and the names of their babies. She believes everyone is nice until you prove otherwise. In this way, my Mother is the most real person I know.
Mom’s been diagnosed with ALS and everything in her world is slowly eroding away.
We’ve learned each patient’s path in reaching their neurological diagnosis is different. None of these is absent of the weight that accompanies degraded utility, depression and fear. Mom’s symptoms were almost indistinguishable from fatigue or age just ten months ago. And now she’s now no longer able to work. She has reduced mobility, balance and exhibiting extensive speech issues. (For a woman who loved to converse and visit with friends this condition has been especially cruel.)
This disease has already taken so much from her and it’s going to get worse. We’re struggling to plan her end-care and living arrangements even as she focuses on function. And we also want to ensure the living time she has is free of crippling debt. Mom’s spent her entire life serving others.
I remember my mother pulling over at automobile accidents as a child. She wanted to help. If she could. As a single mother to two kids we faced many challenges growing up. No matter the challenge or hardship my Mother found a way to prevail.
Mom is a healthcare provider. After graduating from Morrisville, Vt’s People’s Academy High School in 1968, my Mother enrolled and graduated from the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont in Burlington in Radiology. With aspirations to become an XRay Technologist since the 8th grade, her intentions from the start, were to work with patients and provide care. And for her whole life, that’s what she’s done.
Mom x-rayed the unfortunate souls injured on the ski slopes of Stowe, Vt. when she was working at Copley Hospital. My mother loves America and surely it played into her decision to work with Veterans at the Vermont Veterans Administration Hospital. Her sunny nature won over her Veteran patients of years.
After years of living in the Upper Valley, Mom counted her friends in the dozens. She loved working at Alice Peck Day Hospital, she told us because of how many people she met - patients, doctors, nurses and coworkers. Mom loved volunteering for local community programs and schools. She was especially proud of her time as working with the Hartford, Vt. Restorative Justice Program which allowed her to reach troubled citizens and at-risk teens with a mission of reducing crime and rebuilding community. Mom also for a short time had the privilege of teaching to new Radiology students at Lebanon College.
What our family is facing and what this fund is about
We’ve had to quickly be students on this disease. ALS is incurable. Sadly, there are much less aggressive versions of this condition than she has. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gerhig’s Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Eventually the motor neurons stop controlling voluntary muscles. Most people eventually lose the ability to walk, speak, swallow, move hands and difficulty breathing.
We have struggled with how best to ask for help, We are seeking help for Mom to resolve her uncovered medical expenses and transition her to an assisted living situation with her cat Lily. The fear of burdening us with her end-living expenses hangs heavily on Mom. No donation is too small and every cent is very much appreciated. We thank everyone for the kind words and messages and we appreciate any assistance we receive to help support our mom.