Anyone's Life Story: Profiles of Courage

by ALSN Staff on Sun, 2011-05-01 18:11
Top, from left: Angelique Atwater; Marilyn Hillery; Roger Petrone Jr. Bottom: Bluford Sanders Jr.; Howard Spradlin; Janae Stephenson
Article Highlights:
  • For the fifth year during National ALS Awareness Month, the MDA ALS Division is profiling 31 individuals (one each day in May) in its online series ALS: Anyone's Life Story.
  • As a companion to the series, MDA's ALS Division also is offering ALS: It's My Story Too. This interactive feature allows others affected by ALS — including individuals with ALS, their children, spouses, friends and co-workers  — to  share how the disease has impacted their lives.

A 41-year-old SWAT-team police officer with a private pilot’s license … a former high-school sprinter and hoopster, now a 24-year-old mother of three little girls … an 82-year-old fine-art painter and grandmother, formerly a commercial artist

… a 52-year-old long-haul semi-trailer truck driver and mechanic — what do these diverse individuals all have in common? They all share the same colossal challenge: living with ALS.

For National ALS Awareness Month, the MDA ALS Division will be featuring these and other not-so-average Americans each day during the month of May. Now in its fifth year, this enlightening online series, fittingly named ALS: Anyone’s Life Story, will present profiles of remarkable people from many parts of the country.

The series is designed to put a face on this little-known disease, inspire others in the ALS community and help all those affected by ALS know that they are not alone in their battle. MDA also shares these profiles with media in the hometowns of those profiled, increasing ALS awareness in local communities around the country.

An interactive companion to the series, ALS: It’s My Story Too, allows many others affected by ALS to submit their own online testimonials. In addition to individuals with ALS, MDA invites children, spouses, friends or co-workers of those with ALS to share how this disease has impacted their lives. Photographs and comments about life with ALS are welcomed.

Both online series begin May 1 on the MDA ALS Division website.

The individuals featured in this year’s Anyone’s Life Story series, alphabetically by state, are:

Arizona
Bonnie Guzelf, Tempe

California
Trent Thompson, Fresno
Curt Ziemke, Rossmoor

Colorado
Diane Semple, Littleton

Connecticut
Roger Petrone Jr., Stamford

Florida
Elaine Burgess, Palm Harbor

Georgia
Kimberly Kim, Alpharetta

Iowa
Jerry Miller, Des Moines
Frank Wright, Polk City

Maryland
Tony “Pete” Gegor, Mechanicsville
Michael Radcliffe, Timonium

Massachusetts
Laura Tuttle, Raynham

Minnesota
Tom Lijewski, Minneapolis

Mississippi
Amanda Okidika, Jackson

Missouri
Angelique Atwater, St. Louis
Jeff Lester, Lebanon
Scott Mercer, O’Fallon
Howard Spradlin, Summerfield

New Jersey
John Geiger, Ocean Township

New Mexico
Doug Scheebeck, Albuquerque

New York
Larry Brooks, Saratoga

South Carolina
Janet Nelson, Lancaster

Texas
Cali Carranza, Pharr
Kelly Crush, Wichita Falls
Marilyn Hillery, Houston
Sean Pritchett, Houston
Roxanne Roundtree, Madisonville
Bluford Sanders Jr., El Paso

Utah
Janae Stephenson, South Jordan

Virginia
Sandi Waugerman, Winchester

Washington
Jenny Hoff, Spokane

Every year during National ALS Awareness Month, many local MDA offices hold special events in their communities. To find out what your local MDA office is doing to raise ALS awareness during May, contact your local MDA office.

ALSN Staff
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