On Thursday afternoon, I joined Sarah Lettow from the ALS Association Iowa Chapter and Ryan from Phi Delta Theta – Iowa Delta to visit an ALS warrior in West Des Moines. This was our first home visit in the Polk County area to hand out the fleece tie blankets we made a month ago.
Doug is a former systems analyst who has been living with ALS for 24 years. The blanket we picked out for him was perfect. It was yellow with a plaid design and matched Doug’s shirt. He loved it! The highlight of my day was seeing Doug’s huge smile when we gave him the blanket. I know it will keep him warm when it gets chilly in Iowa.
I was pleased that Ryan was able to meet Doug. Before this visit, he had never met anyone living with ALS. I had never met a warrior that had lived with ALS for this long, so I asked many questions during this visit. I really wanted to know more about Doug’s ALS journey. Doug had a tracheotomy seven years ago, but seems to have plateaued. He is currently in a power wheelchair and can talk and move his arms a little. Doug can also eat food without having to liquidize it or cut it into small pieces. Since he can still use his hands, Doug enjoys spending his time playing games on his computer. Even though he cannot walk or breathe on his own, Doug is still so positive and this is something I really admire about him.
Thank you to Doug and his wife for welcoming us into their beautiful home. We have another home visit scheduled for next Monday or Friday afternoon. I am extremely excited to meet some more pALS around Iowa!