Thom Ruiz, local hairstylist and makeup artist, and father of Angie and Micaela Ruiz, was diagnosed with Bulbar ALS in the summer of 2020, about 10 months after the initial onset of slurred speech symptoms. Bulbar ALS typically starts in the head region with speech difficulties, as well as problems with eating and drinking. Thom is now using a g-tube for nutrition needs, and he communicates via text and an iPad text to speech app. He can vocalize but cannot form words. For someone who has always been gregarious, with a boisterous personality and unconventional sense of humor, adapting to his new ability levels has been a struggle. He’s also an amazing cook, who now cannot enjoy the fruits of his own labor. His daughters tag team for most of the things he needs help with- making appointments, filling out paperwork, communicating with health care providers, housework, and taking care of his cats, Chloe and Harper. Thom’s “modern” and extended family includes Angie and Micaela’s mother, Marceline, and her boyfriend Phil, as well as Thom’s friend and former partner Ron, and the girls’ boyfriends, Kevin and Yael. We invite all of our friends, relatives, neighbors, and colleagues, to join our team and the fight against ALS!
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
Every 90 minutes a person in this country is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes another person will lose their battle against this disease. ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries.
That’s why we’re participating in the Walk to Defeat ALS. To bring hope. To raise awareness. To provide resources and services to families free of charge. To help unlock the mystery of ALS and find the key to treatments a cure. Will you join us?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, fatal neuromuscular disease that slowly robs the body of its ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe. The life expectancy of a person with ALS averages 2 to 5 years from the time of diagnosis.
ALS can strike anyone. Presently there is no known cause of the disease, yet it still costs loved ones an average of $250,000 a year to provide the care people living with ALS and their families need. Join the movement to provide help and hope today!