To know him, is to love him…”Derek’s story”.
At the end of October 2016, Derek was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease). He first noticed something was wrong when he developed a speech impediment. Like many people living with ALS, Derek’s symptoms could be explained away. Finally, after having an MRI and testing to include/exclude other diagnoses, Derek received his ALS diagnosis. Derek is only 29 years old, and has a beautiful, young family. In June 2016, Derek married the love of his life (and the one that keeps him in line!), Christina. Together Christina and Derek have a 7 year old Son, Aiden. Derek and Christina had planned the normal life plan…purchase a house, have more children and live happily-ever-after. Being diagnosed with ALS has altered, and will continue to alter, Derek and Christina’s goals. They are now facing, with grace and strength, a heinous monster.
Derek loves his job as a Home Improvement Specialist (which he likes to call himself), and works very hard to provide for his family. Derek and Christina’s families would like to raise money to send them on the honeymoon they never had, and also a trip for Derek, Christina and Aiden. Because of the progressive nature of ALS, we would love to be able to make these trips happen as soon as possible. The money raised will also cover co-pays, procedures/medicines and durable medical equipment, not covered by insurance. We would love to raise enough money for a lift-van, as this would make trips to the grocery store, etc. much easier. It is also very important that we raise money for Aiden’s college fund, so Derek and Christina do not have to worry.
Derek does not know how long he will be able to work, and being a proud man, it hurts him that the financial burden will fall on Christina. The families have started doing fundraisers, selling bracelets, t shirts and reaching out to organizations that are willing to help. We are hoping to earn money so when the time does come, his wife will not have to worry about what the insurance will and will not cover, and be able to take care of herself, husband and son and focus on what is important...making memories with Derek. The family would like to thank anyone who donates money ahead of time. Let’s hope they find a cure for ALS, so no more families have to endure this pain!