I am a 40-year-old, single mother of a very active and vibrant 14-year- old daughter, Lola. Before retiring in 2017, I worked as a Nurse Practitioner, providing HIV care. Although I am not working, I maintain my license and continuing education because I love learning and being a resource for others. Prior to the onset of ALS, I enjoyed singing and going on outings with my daughter and friends.
The days immediately after my ALS diagnosis were full of fear and sadness. I feared the unknown pace of my progression and I grieved time that may be lost with my daughter. I shared my diagnosis almost immediately with close family and friends. They were understandably sad, but willing to support me. My daughter was only seven when I was diagnosed, and I waited a year to explain my diagnosis to her. She has really taken my ever-changing abilities in stride and is always a big help to me. My biggest challenges are the loss of independence and my career. I am inspired by other PALS who continue to have hope and reinvent themselves to find meaning in their lives despite their diagnosis.
My BBF PALS Grant has helped to ease the financial burden on myself and my primary caregivers. I am cared for by my retired parents who are on a fixed income. The Brigance Brigade Foundation helped cover the cost of a power wheel chair to maintain my independence in regard to mobility.