Every time I log in to write a post, my screen shows me a snapshot of my site's statistics. I couldn't help but notice two things: 1. My blog is suddenly getting about 1000 visits every day, and 2. The percentage of visitors that are viewing my blog for the first time has increased dramatically in the past two weeks. In short, lots of new people are tuning in.
I thought that a quick post getting everyone caught up might help...
I was diagnosed with ALS/MND/Lou Gehrig's disease in October 2011, but I had been experiencing symptoms from the beginning of that year.
I go to one of the best hospitals in the world, Johns Hopkins, for my ALS clinic visits (my check-ups).
I've been a guinea pig in two separate drug trials.
People have been extremely supportive, and that's allowed me to do some pretty cool things, like driving super-cars (and getting caught doing 125MPH in a 55MPH zone), going to watch Celtic play, skydiving, taking an epic anniversary trip, taking my family to see Mickey, and a family sightseeing trip to DC...to name a few. My college coach created a football tournament to benefit my family.
My symptoms were minor in 2011, and I remained active for a while. These days, this is a much more accurate assessment of my physical abilities.
As of a few months ago, my breathing capacity was less than 50% of what it should be for a guy my age. In February of this year, my friends at Johns Hopkins to my that, conservatively, I had 12-18 months to live. Right now, I suppose that puts me in the 6-12 month range.
The ice bucket challenge has simply been rejuvenating for me. To have a terminal illness is one thing, but it weighs you down when it gets such little publicity, and such meager financial support for research. To some, the ice bucket challenge is a silly fad; "just donate and stop showing off," is a refrain I've caught wind of.
The thing is, the ice bucket challenge is the vehicle through which awareness is spread. And people need to be aware before you can seriously, passionately ask them to donate.
Don't believe me? During the course of the same three week period last year, the ALS Association raised $1.9 million. This year, during the same period; $22.4 million.