Hope is On the Way

I remember the day all too well - My mom and I went with my Dad to his final doctor’s appointment in 2019, after three months of testing, to find out if the symptoms he was experiencing were in fact the result of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). After months of trying to find an alternative disease that mimicked ALS, the sad truth was that, yes - my Dad in fact did have ALS. He was diagnosed a year after retiring and serving his country for 34 years in the United States Air Force. While the diagnosis was beyond dreadful - it was the lack of empathy and hope that was delivered, alongside the diagnosis. No matter what the disease may be, a diagnosis should always include HOPE - just a little glimmer - a reason to get up every morning and fight the fight. While my mom, sister and I, along with countless friends and family members, served as my Dad’s source of HOPE - I know a loving and supportive family isn’t always the case. That is where "I am ALS" steps in to fill in the gap for 5,000 patients who are diagnosed and their families who are heartbroken. Their hard work and advocacy means the world to me as it provides Hope for ALS patients and their families. The abundance of information - including a robust database of ALS clinical trials across the globe - is something I wish I knew was there for my Dad. Unfortunately, my amazing father passed away in 2021. We are heartbroken and miss him beyond words. But we know he’d want his life and diagnosis to help others. He fought for our country. He fought ALS. And now we fight for him and others diagnosed with this devastating disease.

- Colleen Williamson, owner and artist of Kisco Print Shop