I have a plethora of ALS projects going on right now and they are keeping me fairly busy. I’m currently working hard to finish my last month as a freshman at Drake University. Though I’m working hard to be the best student I can be, top grades are not important to me. What’s more important is learning as much as I can so that one day, I can help people with ALS.
I’m also working on improving designs for my device that I’ve created. It allows people with ALS to experience a safer shower. I’ll be meeting with a lawyer soon to talk about getting a US patent for the device. The major building will happen over this summer. I am incredibly excited for this project to move along and can’t wait to see it helping those who need it one day.
I am also meeting with more professors at Drake about speaking to their classes about ALS. I truly enjoy spreading awareness of the disease. I’ve also been in contact with my old junior high school about speaking to their students about ALS. I feel that it’s very important to teach younger students about the disease so that they can get inspired to take action against ALS. I am hopeful that I will be able to speak with these middle school students. On the side, I am setting up an internship in an ALS research lab for this upcoming summer. I also have a few other ALS speaking engagements in the works.
I’m looking forward to some upcoming ALS events in Chicago this May. The ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter always holds FABULOUS events and I can’t wait to get back to the city to volunteer with them. Cure 90/90 and the 2014 Walk to Defeat ALS will occur shortly after school ends. I enjoy volunteering at these events because I love meeting those fighting ALS, their family and friends, and anyone else who wants to join in on the fight. They’re my ALS family. Together, we can end this disease once and for all.
But most importantly, I still get to talk to Dr. McLaren every day. Even though he is unable to respond, he still receives every email I send him. I also give him handwritten letters every so often. I can’t take away his pain or stop the disease from progressing, but I can still show him how much he means to me and that I will always be here for him as he fights ALS. I can stay strong for him because I know that’s what he would want me to do. Only a few more weeks until I get to be at his side once again.