Celebrating My Public and Personal Milestones

Dagmar Munn avatar

by Dagmar Munn |

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mindfulness, adapt, future

In last week’s column, I wrote about a gala banquet that I recently attended. As the event approached, I worried about what I would wear and how others would react to my mobility scooter. But my greatest concern was that I was one of the evening’s honorees.

The banquet was held in Las Vegas, and I was to be inducted into the World Acrobatics Society’s Hall of Fame alongside some famous Olympians, coaches, and a Hollywood stuntman. Mine was a service award, given in appreciation for helping the organization with promotional materials and creating its website.

I received a plaque, a commemorative medallion, a certificate, and a professional tribute video. And oh my! There’s nothing like having your life put to music and flashed onto a big screen to get your heart pumping.

Columnist Dagmar Munn receives a service award from the World Acrobatics Society. (Courtesy of Dagmar Munn)

Of course, I’ll let you see the video. But first, let me explain the significance of its final 95 seconds — the section that begins with the narrator saying, “Diagnosed with ALS in 2010.”

That’s when, in a blink of an eye, my life took a sharp turn. I was a wellness expert who suddenly found herself on the receiving end of all that expertise. Faced with the dismal prognosis of ALS, I cobbled together a simple formula for living.

First, I followed my doctor’s recommendations: attend the ALS Clinic, take my medications, be willing to use assistive devices, eat wholesome foods, sleep well, and keep my body moving through gentle exercise.

To build my resilience, I began practicing healthy coping strategies:

  • I stopped asking, “Why me?” Instead, I looked for ways to accept and adapt to my changing ALS symptoms.
  • I focused my attention away from the negative and toward the positive events of the day. I fell asleep thinking of three things to be grateful for.
  • I tried to be open to new learning experiences and discovered ways to continue to be me.
  • I avoided isolation by staying connected with my family, friends, clubs, and organizations — and all of my new ALS friends around the world.

So, those final 95 seconds of the video encompass the last nine years of my life with ALS. Those years sped by while, truthfully, I was having fun.

OK, here’s the video:

Does my future include more milestones? I hope so. And I hope yours does as well. Remember, I believe that we can live well while living with ALS.


Note: ALS News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of ALS News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to ALS.


Diana Belland avatar

Diana Belland

I was delighted to discover your wonderful tribute video on Youtube a few days ago! I've even shared it with my family and friends. It was such a pleasure to learn more about your training as a gymnast and dancer, your work as a wellness instructor and your many current accomplishments and activities. Thank you so much for showing us that it is possible to remain fully engaged with life while living with ALS.

Dagmar Munn avatar

Dagmar Munn

Thank you Diana! I hope I can continue to be a beam of positive support for you and all in our ALS community.

Jerry Dindal avatar

Jerry Dindal

My name is Jerry
Dindal. I have ALS says the doctor. But I can't get any help at all without paying for it.cant afford that
.how can I get help.

Dagmar Munn avatar

Dagmar Munn

Hello Jerry, I am sorry you have been diagnosed with ALS... to answer your question: there is a lot of financial assistance available for patients in need. I assume you are in the U.S., if so, please use this link to connect up with an ALS Assoc. Care Coordinator in your state/area. http://www.alsa.org/community/ who will have a list of resources. Best wishes to you on your journey ahead living with ALS.

Ron Munn avatar

Ron Munn

Sometimes you just get lucky! And that sure happened to me. I first met my wife Dagmar when she was 4 years old and I was 14. Little did I know we would marry later in life and are currently headed for 40 wonderful years together. Has her ALS made a difference in our lives....not at all, she is still the wonderful women I married and continues to have a positive outlook on each and every day....no one could ask for anything better, and be as proud as I am to be her husband, :-)

John Russell avatar

John Russell

Wow Dagmar you are awesome! So glad to be able to benefit from all you share with us.

Patricia Riascos avatar

Patricia Riascos

Congratulations Dagmar, a well deserved award. I enjoyed the video as well.

Michele Machado avatar

Michele Machado

Legal, Dagmar! Gosto das sua colunas!


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