That’s what on my mind when the deejay handed me the mic. I told my story, including the fact that it’s the one-year anniversary of when I was diagnosed. Here was may basic message if you don’t want to watch the 5-minute video: We were just like you. I was a triathlete who had completed a 70.3-mile half Ironman. We had just bought a house and were looking to start a family. Now we are trying to wrap our heads around the fact that I have a 2-5 year life expectancy, and that before I die, I will lose the ability to move my arms and legs, swallow, eat, and breathe on my own. Instead of trying to plan for a baby, we are trying to decide whether it’s worth it to spend $80,000-$125,000 to remodel our house so I can get into it and use the bathroom. ALS can strike anyone at any time and we’re really playing catch up with research for this disease, since the only treatment available is one drug that extends life expectancy 2-3 months. Finding a cure through research is the only way we can find a cure to save lives. Boom. Cue awkward hand wave to open the silent auction.
We couldn’t stay too late – for one thing, we wanted to do our own dinner date to toast to one year living with ALS. For another, we had to leave the house at 6:30am the next morning for me to catch a flight to Raleigh to cheer on Team Drea Challengers Heather and David at the Raleigh Ironman 70.3.
|Bonus: We met Abe on the way out!
The silent auction and event sales raised $27,000 for ALS research at ALS-TDI. Thank you VIDA, everyone who donated items, and everyone who came!
The other exciting thing to come out of this event is that I am now back at VIDA, training for a repeat of the Ramblin’ Rose Chapel Hill triathlon in October. I used to be a VIDA Chinatown member until we moved out to the ‘burbs. But after I scoured Silver Spring for a gym with an endless pool (think “swimming treadmill”) with no luck, I asked Aaron if I could try out the pool at VIDA again. Now DP and I are both hooked up with memberships and I couldn’t be happier.