OutSpoken - a Column by James Clingman

James is a 12-year survivor of ALS. His diagnosis came after four years of symptoms, and included a back surgery that did not work. On August 23, 2013, the news that would change his life fell on him like a steel beam. To go from a healthy active person to likely having only a short time to live was truly mind blowing. The acceptance of not being able to ride bicycles any more, something he had done for over 30 years, was especially hurtful.

Eventually he had to abandon all of his physical activity. A newspaper columnist for 25 years, a professor at the University of Cincinnati, and a consultant for construction companies — all of this was no longer possible. Jim is making every effort to live with his new challenges and is so grateful for his wife, Sylvia, and daughter, Kiah, along with his ALS care team at the Veterans Hospital in Charleston, South Carolina.

This New Year, Let’s Nurture Our Will to Want to Live

Note: This column includes a mention of suicide. The most powerful force within people is the impulse to stay alive. Our survival instinct is so strong that we’re willing and inexplicably able to perform inhuman feats and take unimaginable risks. According to psychologist Abraham Maslow, survival is the foundation…

Who Cares for the ALS Caregiver?

Often, as we discuss the ravages of disease, we give short shrift to one of the most vital aspects of debilitating illnesses like ALS. We offer our sympathy, prayers, money, remedies, and sentiments, which are all very positive and appreciated. What’s missing, though? A little imagination and a broader…