Columns

When the End of Life Feels Imminent

We had a health scare a couple weeks ago, and I had to take our 8-year-old goldendoodle to the vet. Earlier in the week, Comet didn’t have his usual zip. Instead of eagerly greeting visitors, he stayed on his doggy bed. By Thursday evening of that week, Comet began…

If Only My Husband Could Try NurOwn

Two years after my husband, Todd, was diagnosed with ALS, I read an article that gave me hope. An Israeli rabbi who had ALS saw improvement with NurOwn, an experimental stem cell treatment by BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics. The man went from being in a wheelchair to walking. I…

How I Learned to Speak Up for ALS Awareness

“I didn’t even know ALS existed until I was told I had it.” That’s what most patients say when telling their ALS story. I said the same thing when asked to share my story at an event in 2010, and I hear the same thing from others today, 11 years…

ALS Awareness Is Good, but Action Is Better

In the summer of 2014, people across the world dumped water over their heads in the ALS ice bucket challenge and shared videos of the experience on social media. Our son, Isaac, who was 4 at the time, did it, saying, “I’m having my aunties and uncles do the…

Come Smell the Bacon

“Everybody’s talkin’ at me, Can’t hear a word they’re sayin’, Only the echoes of my mind.” – Fred Neil ALS has rendered me a minimalist creature of habit. My weekday routine includes the intersection of paranoid caution, practiced routine,…

How I Took My First Step in Spreading ALS Awareness

Like many newly diagnosed ALS patients, I was overwhelmed by the steep learning curve of finding out more about the disease. Never mind having to jump in and help raise funds for it. Every time May rolled around with ALS Awareness Month, I was uncertain about how I fit…

Facing Uncertainty in Life With ALS

Life is unpredictable. People get in car accidents. They have heart attacks. Tornadoes strike. I recently saw a viral video in which a rabid bobcat attacked a woman outside her home. We never really know what will happen next, and yet, we humans usually live with optimism for the…