Lou Gehrig meets his match (For Marty)
Bittersweet is a word that has so many meanings to me right now. This week I had a chance to see cousins I haven't seen in ages. I got to hug the Uncle who is and was the only living sibling of my dearly departed father. This week I was in a room filled with people I resemble - the sturdy German stock we all are, and the ones that all share that funny "how the hell do you pronounce it" last name..........and this week I paid respects to one cousin I will never see again. I will never hear him introduce me as his "only first cousin" ever again. I will never have a chance to look at him smile...and see my dad in his grin. This week I, along with many, said a final goodbye to a man who changed lives, made an impact in the battle of a disease that taunts it's victims....this week my cousin, Martin (Marty) Woywod, closed his eyes one last time at the young age of 45.
I was diagnosed with ALS in September of 2004. In October, Jim and I attended our first Les Turner Foundation support group and met a man who would change my life.
As I struggled to make sense of a disease that could rob three small children of their mom, I listened and learned from Marty Woywod that one way to make sense of this disease was to spend the rest of my life trying to defeat it.
I vividly remember looking across the table at Marty as he talked about his public role and thinking, “I could never do that.” It didn’t take long for Marty to convince me that I had no choice but to do that.
Thank you, Marty, for your tireless efforts and for inspiring me, my family, and so many others to join the fight.