June 19 - Cheryl Ward

Today Cheryl Ward shares her #MakingItPossible story on day 19 of ALS Awareness Month.

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"I received a diagnosis Mar 7, 2017 for some speech and swallowing issues I’d been having and it wasn’t a good one; ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis to be exact). Doesn’t that just take the wind out of the sails? It was kind of a nasty outcome but it is what it is. At least now I knew and could deal with it.

The day after the diagnosis, I met with the whole ALS Clinic Team. Everything is all together at the South Calgary Campus. I attend a clinic every 3 to 4 months. I call it one stop shopping. It makes it so much easier. There was lots to learn about this disease, that’s for sure.

From December to May, I was privileged to take part in Dr. Korngut’s Pimizide double blind study. Hopefully, people facing this diagnosis will benefit soon from whatever results the study unfolds. I am now working with the ACETS people to personalize a communication hub for digitized speech and to retain the ability to use computers.

My sister and brother-in-law have been great. I couldn’t get through this without them. My next door neighbours are terrific and friends and family are very supportive.

It’s been a year now living with this disease. I can still do most everything, just slower, and most of it is thanks to the help and support of the wonderful people from the ALS Society. From special kitchen tools to walkers and manual and electric wheelchairs, they have made it possible to continue living my life with a great deal of independence. They provide a listening ear and a compassionate heart whenever it is asked for.

The ALS Society is needed to help us walk this incredibly complex journey with patients and families. Please do whatever you can to let this support continue."

Thank you Cheryl, for sharing your experience with us.