On June 28, 2017, after months of tests, my dad was diagnosed with ALS. Friends and family found the news shocking, since he has always been the picture of health - exercising regularly and eating well his entire adult life.
Ironically, people who work out regularly are more at risk of developing ALS. I can't quite wrap my mind around that. Another risk factor is exposure to agricultural chemicals. For decades, my dad worked in Zimbabwe and in California as an agronomist, which is kind of like a "crop doctor". He spent years in the fields, in the lab, and at his desk analyzing and troubleshooting crops in his community - often going above and beyond what was expected of him. Finally, in 2015, he began his well-deserved and much-anticipated retirement. It seems so unfair that his retirement would be sabotaged by this cruel disease - yet he has taken the diagnosis in stride - intent on not allowing ALS to squash his contagious positivity and zeal for life.
If you know my dad, you know he is always the first to lend a helping hand and the last to ask for help. He makes friends wherever he goes, taking every opportunity to share a smile or a "pun-ny" joke. He's always been my rock, he's always been my cheerleader; he's always been my dad. I'm not ready to let him go, and I need your help. He has done so much for me, and I want to do all I can to help him through this experience. Any donation - no matter how big or small - is immensely appreciated. And, of course, your love, support, and encouragement is invaluable . I love hearing stories about my dad from his friends, family, and co-workers, so even if you can't contribute to the fundraiser, please leave a comment below to show your support. :-)
With utmost gratitude,
P.S. Click here to follow my dad's blog!
- Carolyn & Robert & Thomas Diehl
- Iain Tarbet
- Bettie Griffith
- Lauren Fidler
- Denise Kerner
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