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Meet the People #FightingALS
with the Brigance Brigade Foundation

Lesa Schaefer

A year ago, before my ALS symptoms began, I was pretty much the healthiest 58-year- old I knew. My routine was to wake up at 4:20 AM, stop at the chapel to pray, work out at the gym, and go to work. I would take care of my mind, my body, and then the people around me. I wanted to be as healthy as possible. I envisioned myself being in great health at 90 years old, taking care of my parents, my husband, and my kids because I have always taken care of people. Then without warning, it feels like life played a trick on me with an ALS diagnosis.

There was a mourning period where I’d see someone jogging along-side the road and think ‘that was me’ or I’d see someone riding their bicycle and think ‘mine’s downstairs, I’ll probably never ride it again’.

I got beyond that sadness after a while because I’m happy that I can breathe and speak. Now my breathing is getting a little worse, but I’m still here. I’m not sitting here waiting to die either. I have never quit anything in my life. I worked for the same company for my entire adult life.

I instilled the same values in my kids. If they signed up for sports and then in the middle of the season they wanted to quit, I would tell them that ‘everyone is depending on you. You can’t give up’.

We don’t quit things.