LouAnn's ALS Journey


Lou Ann was living independently at home, working full time, driving, and enjoying life. Then, she began falling often, with no reason. In December 2016, after 6 months of countless appointments, tests, and being poked and prodded, we received devastating news and a diagnosis of Lou Gehrig's Disease, also known as ALS (remember the ice bucket challenge?). ALS is a progressive disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. This causes motor neuron death, which prevents the brain from initiating and controlling all muscle movement. This initially affects the voluntary muscles, causing strength and ambulation to be an issue. As it progresses, it will affect all muscles in the body, including the diaphragm and lungs. The average prognosis from time of diagnosis is 2-5 years.  

Since December 2016, Lou Ann is 90% wheelchair bound. She has lost most of her grip strength, making her daily tasks (like brushing her hair and using utensils to eat) to become increasingly difficult. Even doing a basic task, such as showering or going to the store, is extremely taxing on her energy levels. She tires quickly, and sleeps more than before. Though all of this is happening, her spirits remain mostly high, and she attempts to see the positive in each day. This can prove difficult as she can feel herself "slowly fading away". 

This year is OUR second annual ALS Walk at Sloan's Lake in Denver. We are hoping to raise $5,500 this year to assist in the cost of obtaining Lou Ann a power wheelchair. This chair will allow her to go on outings without having to wheel herself around (taking away what little strength and energy she has left), as well as get around her house on a day to day basis. A power wheelchair will also allow her to maintain some sort of independence as her disease continues to progress. 

We appreciate any and all support received. No dollar amount is too small, and every share can make a true difference. Please reach out if you have any questions/want more information. We are also building our team for the walk on October 13, 2018 (meeting at 8:30am). If you would like to walk, please let me know as well. Thank you for all of your support!

Danielle Cleary (Lou Ann's daughter)
  • John Wiederkehr 
    • $250 
    • 35 mos
  • Whitney Galloway  
    • $50 
    • 36 mos
  • Emily Ylitalo  
    • $250 
    • 36 mos
  • Chloe Jostes 
    • $20 
    • 36 mos
  • E. Aime Stump 
    • $50 
    • 36 mos
See all

Organizer

Danielle Cleary 
Organizer
Longmont, CO
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