As some of you know, our dear friend, Jeff Thompson, recently received the shocking and life altering diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This tragic diagnosis has been devastating for Jeff, his wife, Susan, their son, Eric, and their extended family and close friends. At present, there are no treatments that can permanently halt the progression of the disease and there is no cure.
Jeff and Susan learned of the diagnosis after he underwent testing for symptoms that were interfering with his ability to do his carpentry job. A few weeks later, they met with medical professionals at the ALS center where he is now a patient. At the center, they learned that it would be very beneficial for Jeff’s overall health if he stopped working. So he did and is now on short term disability. Given the symptoms he is already experiencing, he will never be able to work full time again. Depending on the progression of the disease, he may never work again, period. While Jeff and Susan have health insurance, finances will be stretched beyond the limit because (both surprisingly and disappointingly) health insurance covers little in the way of medicine, equipment, and palliative care needed for ALS patients.
Adding to their burden, Susan is also on disability because of her blindness and her own health issues. This GoFundMe campaign has been created to rally support for Jeff and Susan and to relieve as much financial stress for them as possible.
When hearing of a friend or loved one facing a life changing situation, people often ask, “what can I do?” To quote Edward Everett Hale, a prominent Boston Unitarian minister, “I am only one but I am one. I cannot do everything but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.
If you know Jeff, you know he is one of the kindest, most compassionate, and generous people on the planet and a devoted son, husband, father, and friend. He is always willing to go out of his way to help others, but never comfortable asking for help in return. But help him we must. Now is the time to “do something” by supporting this effort. Making a donation, in whatever amount feels comfortable, will make an enormous difference to Jeff and his family as they start to navigate this new and utterly terrifying reality.
This disease is as insidious as they come. For all the millions of dollars raised in the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge ($220 million worldwide), little progress has been made in finding effective treatments, let alone a cure. So, while scientists struggle to beat this beast of a disease to the ground, help us help Jeff and Susan by relieving some of their financial burden and anxiety.
Thank you so much for opening your heart and donating to this effort. Your support means the world to Jeff, Susan, and Eric and is beyond appreciated.