My name is Regina Burks. Gina. From Michigan City Indiana. Indiana State Alumni. Former Sparkette, Kappa Sweetheart and proud member of Delta Sigma Theta, INC. I can not take credit for starting this mission. Lindsey Montgomery, a fellow alumni and member of Omega Phi Psi fraternity Inc., shared his heart with me. He felt strongly that as a community we needed to stand up for this family and insist moving forward that ISU does as well. Poncho was the reason that many top football recruits came to ISU. Now it's time that ISU comes to Poncho.
I count it a blessing to be connected to any and all of my "tree" family and support endeavors which allow others to achieve their fullest destiny.
Most of those who are close to Ed Poncho's family or are former Sycamores are aware that several years ago he was diagnosed with debilitating Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease. At this point in his progression he is completely paralyzed.
He can not perform even the simplist or mundane self-care task, at all. The universe however, blessed him with an amazing life partner, best friend and wife who has stood by his side and been his arms, legs and voice through the progression of the disease. As his body has grown weaker, the love between he and Michelle has increased astronomically.
While we know what medical science says as to the survival rate of those with ALS, we also know Poncho.
He is committed to staying alive; defeating this disease. He and his wife and family support many organizations that are committed to advance research studies to give those who stand in his shoes a chance to continue to grace this earth.
This is where all who love him and his amazing wife and children come in.
There are new medical advancements Poncho would like access to so that one day he can give his daughters away at an alter. Celebration his landmark 25th anniversary with his selfless and unconditionally committed wife.
Poncho is the same fierce unstoppable fighter he was on the High School, college and NFL turf. In spite of his challenges he continues to keep us updated on his health via social media. If you email him you get a direct reply....several paragraphs.....not a one liner. His inner spirit is grateful for the life he has been blessed to live and for each of us he has had the pleasure to meet and impact. He wakes up everyday determined to stay current on ALS research and hopes unwaveringly for an opportunity to have access to some of the new medical advancements.
I don't know if those who read this have a Michelle (or Poncho), in your life. We can only imagine what Michelle's shoes feel like to wear. What we do know, however, is that she is a "for better or worse," woman. She works, has other responsibilities but yet is her husband's personal confident and care taker.
Donating to this fund is as much about supporting her, as it is giving Poncho a chance to remain present on this earth as long as possible with his wife and children.
No amount is too small or large.
Write a message to Poncho and Michelle. Let's let them know that we see them. We hear them. We feel them. We are inspired by them. And, we stand with them financially, and in prayer to support Poncho's fighting spirit to LIVE!
This GoFundMe was created with consent from both Michelle and Poncho.