A Thanksgiving video message from me to everyone. For many of us it’s getting through our hardships and the tough times that make us stronger, leading us to deep gratitude!
Happy Thanksgiving all! -Rich
After a devastating ALS diagnosis, former NFL player Tim Green cries “tears of joy”and calls himself “fortunate,” echoing Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech.
I just finished watching the incredible story of strength and courage being fought by man named Tim Green. I remember Tim Green from his football playing days in the NFL. He was a force to be reckoned with. Since then he became an accomplished author, lawyer, youth coach and most of all a proud Family man above all. The 60 Minutes special that aired tonight; covering his journey and his battle against ALS really hit home for me. Seeing his son side-by-side with him just made me lose it. Family, and the attitude of everyone in the family pulling together as one with the mantra: Never ever give up! – this is what drives me to keep battling on.
ALS does not get very much national television exposure, in fact it gets very little at all. While it’s a tough subject to talk about or hear about… I’ve come to realize that our battle must be shared and awareness spread throughout the world through any means possible.
I applaud you, Tim Green. I am with you, a fellow warrior trying to live our lives to the fullest, as best as we can. Teaching our families and others battling life-threatening illnesses how to stay strong and believe that someday we will get a break and beat this thing in the future. I cried and laughed with you tonight during your interview, you are very special person– God bless you. -Rich
“Commitment, pursuing things that you want to do,” Kroft told 60 Minutes Overtime’s Ann Silvio in the video above. “That’s the secret, to me, of a successful life. Do things you want to do. And try and enjoy them along the way. And also, the importance of family.”
Tim Green with his son, Troy, during his recent interview with Steve Kroft CBS NEWS
Initially hesitant to speak about his diagnosis, Green has now dedicated himself to raising awareness of and funding for ALS. In an emotional interview with Kroft, Green began to cry. But he told Kroft they were “tears of joy.” “I don’t know anyone more fortunate and blessed than me—even with this,” Green said.
To contribute to Tim Green’s ALS awareness fundraising campaign, visit TackleALS.com
When I learned I had ALS, my whole world changed, because on that day, I officially became an ALS patient. Lauren’s world changed as well because, just as suddenly, she became my caregiver. I appreciate her taking on this challenging responsibility more than she’ll ever know.
For some ALS patients and their caregivers, the roles begin almost immediately. Ours was a slow creep. Over one year my ALS symptoms caused me to give up cooking, doing laundry, driving, and running errands by myself. Lauren stepped up and willingly took on the duties — even having to deal with a big learning curve, she has been here for me every step of the way. Believe me when I tell you, it’s no easy task. Emotionally and physically!
Currently, the ALS Association estimates that as many as 30,000 Americans are living with ALS. But when we factor in how many people are affected by ALS, the number is much greater. Spouses become caregivers, family members do, too, and the circle of care widens to include extended family, friends, and professional staff.
But what if you are an ALS patient? My options for gift-giving are pretty limited. Simply hopping in the car to secretly buy a card and a special gift for Lauren is no longer possible. Still wanting to do something, I asked myself, “What would make her role as a caregiver a little easier?”
The answer came in the form of giving a gift from my heart: being aware of my behaviors and of how small changes on my part can help her days to be less stressful.
Following is a list I recently found and read. I will try my very best to adhere to these… gifts that will give back to both of us:
I love you, Lauren McCabe!❤️ 🌻
Living with ALS means there will be stressful events, changes in symptoms, and unexpected challenges. Emotions can ignite, and it’s easy to lash out and blame whoever is in close proximity. This happens way more than it needs to.
I will keep an optimistic attitude, be open to new ideas, and be willing to adapt to changes. When offered, I will accept help and suggestions, knowing they are intended for my safety and not to curtail my sense of independence.
When I’m lost in thought and not paying attention to what I’m doing, I’m at a greater risk of spilling, dropping, choking, or — worse yet — falling. These make Lauren’s job of caregiver much harder.
I will continue to work at being mindful and bringing awareness to my everyday activities. If memories or worries cloud my thoughts, I’ll take a slow deep breath, bring my mind into the present moment, and pay attention to what I’m doing. 🙏🏻
Over time life can become routine, conversations dull, and we can tune each other out. This leads to misunderstandings and feelings of loss of personal value.
I will try to practice active listening: looking at the person speaking, smiling and responding with interest, and adding to the conversation.
Caregiving is a partnership between the giver and the receiver of care. Caregivers deserve our recognition and gratitude. So, I share a special “thank you” to ALS caregivers around the world.