Team Al is excited to participate in the Napa Valley Ride to Defeat ALS this year! Our team has been brought together to fight against ALS in memory of Al Story. Al fought a good fight against ALS, but seeing the impact of this horrific disease on a person so close, and knowing that nothing can be done has left an indelible imprint on our minds and we are so excited to be able to pay it forward and help others fighting this disease. We are motivated to raise money to educate people about ALS, help those with ALS by providing equipment and support and fund research to eventually find a cure for this mysterious and cruel disease.
Al lost his battle with ALS in December 2015. In the Spring he was still training horses, in July he was diagnosed with ALS, by late summer he could barely use his upper extremities and by Thanksgiving he was completely dependent on others for everything. He was no longer able to move his arms or legs and started to lose his ability to speak clearly. It was harder to swallow, which made eating more challenging as well. I spent some time helping to care for him and I couldn't help but think that it was so strange and upsetting.....just surreal. It was just like caring for my kids when they were babies. The only exception was that Dad could actually talk...another cruelty of this disease. As you lose one function at a time, your mental capacities remain completely intact, so you understand exactly what is happening to you and wonder what will go next. It was a whirlwind of events and then one night, a week before Christmas and three months shy of his 70th birthday, he passed away. Just like that, less than six months later and he was gone.
How does that happen? How does one go from able-bodied and active to being completely bed ridden unable to even hold a utensil and move one's arms to eat a meal or simply walk to the bathroom? The answer is ALS. ALS is how that happens. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is an incurable, progressive neurodegenerative disease. It is one of the most common neuromuscular diseases in the world. ALS affects about 4 people for every 100,000 people in the United States. Once it starts it eventually takes away the ability to walk, dress, write, speak, swallow, and breathe and shortens the life span significantly. The life expectancy typically ranges from 3 to 5 years after diagnosis. There is no cure and the cause of ALS is unknown.
We are taking this journey for Al. He loved visiting California and its beauty and never made it out here for his final planned visit. We are taking him with us on this ride to enjoy the beauty of Napa in the Fall. We are also taking this journey for those who are currently suffering from this disease and for those who will suffer in the future. We are making a commitment to raise money to help fight this disease and work to find a cure for it so that someday no one will suffer from ALS.
Test your strength, push your limits, and fight ALS with us! Join our Team or make a donation towards our goal today. Or even better - do both!
Join our team
Simply click the "Join Team" link on our team roster (top right).
Make a donation
Help us reach our goal! Select one of our fantastic participants to the right of your screen. Click their name to donate on their behalf. All the money donated from this page will support our team's overall goal.