Read and share this personal message from Mike Gershman about why he is taking part in the Greater Philadelphia Walk to Defeat ALS. Join him at www.greaterphiladelphiawalktodefeatals.org
“In April of 2018, my ankle felt ‘out of place’ and I stopped being able to run. By May, I was falling frequently. In June, we took a family trip to Iceland. Then, by September, I was using a cane.
November came and I needed a walker and by January of this year, I was in a wheelchair and my house was being remodeled to accommodate my needs. It felt like I was in constant catch-up mode because the disease was progressing so quickly. That is the reality of ALS. Now I am using a feeding tube and my voice is very soft.
As challenging as this is, I am grateful to know that I am not alone. My friends and family have been incredibly supportive. My wife of 24 years has been incredible with her love and resourcefulness. Friends and family have helped by giving my wife much needed breaks, doing household chores, encouraging us, and so much more. My sisters-in-law come to our house often, even though it can be very difficult for them, and they help in many ways.
I live 45 minutes from work and family would drive me in and back every day for months. A friend from work would drive 15 minutes to pick me up and then drove me into work and home again. Family and friends visit and check in regularly to keep things feeling as normal as possible.
Not surprisingly, my company NAXION has been great. While I was working, people were literally bringing my meals to me. The CFO brought me coffee every morning. My colleagues were so supportive. My supervisor called me every week to ask what she could do for me. The company arranged for me to park in the garage inside the building to make it easier. They provided the software and the hardware that I needed to most effectively do my job and the tech support to go with it. I can’t say enough about their kindness and support.
People from NAXION contacted me asking if I would be OK with them putting together a group for the Walk to Defeat ALS. My family has the same idea and the two groups merged. We are hoping to raise as much money as we can to support The ALS Association’s mission. Throughout my journey with this disease, The ALS Association has been amazing, providing resources and support when I needed it most.
On Saturday, October 26th, I am looking forward to seeing my friends, family, and colleagues all in one place to support me and the ALS cause. And I plan to win! Join us at www.greaterphiladelphiawalktodefeatals.org”