The ALS Association

My Dad Was a Towering, Strong Man

Kathy B. Spring, Texas

This is my Dad, Eugene Westberg. He was a towering, strong man much like John Wayne. He never complained, never showed that he was sick, and he rarely went to the doctor. He was a World War 2 Vet, and he was tough. Dad began to lose weight and feel weak. He was diagnosed with drop-foot because his foot had begun to drag behind him as he proudly walked. He was diagnosed with poor circulation and was told to wear diabetic supportive stockings to help his weakening legs. He was told that his shortness of breath was caused by years of smoking. He was told to take vitamins and walk a lot to improve his stamina. He was given a myriad of prognosis because NO ONE KNEW the symptoms of ALS. Each diagnosis brought a surge of renewed hope that he would finally feel better. Looking back, he was a textbook case. All of the symptoms were there, but dozens of doctors missed the diagnosis because they just didn’t know. Lou Gehrig’s disease slowly renders the victim unable to smile, swallow, walk to the bedroom, or grasp a loved one’s hand. Yet, it leaves perfectly intact the eyes, ears, brain and heart. ALS victims are keenly aware of their deteriorating condition and the love they are being shown, but they have no way to return that love. I am taking the ice bucket challenge today. This cause is very dear to me. I would gladly weather one thousand buckets of ice to bring back my Dad. Please consider donating 1 dollar, 10 dollars or even 100 dollars. Help us find a cure for this devastating illness.

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