Our Beloved Queen (aka Val. aka Tic).
Loved beyond measure and missed beyond words.
If you are here, it is because you knew Val or know someone who did. This is Team Tic's 6th year walking in the annual Walk to Defeat ALS to support those affected by Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Even though Val is no longer here with us, her strength, courage and ability to find joy through the suffering is what inspires us to do everything we can to spread awareness of the urgency to find treatments and a cure.
We invite you to walk with our crazy family on October 14th at the Washington Monument in DC. It will be a great day to join together as a community to help others affected by ALS. If you cannot make the walk, work to raise awareness of the disease by sharing our Queen's story or donate money to support the cause. No matter how small or how large your contribution may be, we appreciate it all so much.
Thank you for helping Team Tic reach our 2017 Walk to Defeat ALS® fundraising goal in memory of our beloved Queen.
British born and loyal to the core, she was a mother (and mother-in-law), a daughter, a grandmother (and step-grandmother), an auntie, a sister, a friend, dancer, a movie enthusiast, a gourmet chef, a hostess extraordinaire, and has lost her battle with ALS. Valerie / Auntie Val / Mrs. B / Val / Tic / the British Sensation / Chez Val / or Mama Rockstar came to the United States in 1963 alongside the British Invasion with the intention of working for six months in San Francisco. Two years later, she met her husband James and in 1966 they married—first in Reno (naughty elopement) and then in Sausalito (legitimate ceremony). After Thomas was born in San Francisco, they moved east where Kristina was born. While the children were in school, Nana had various part time jobs, including teaching tap and aerobic dance, but her passions were coaching her son’s soccer team (leading them to several championships) and supporting her daughter’s ballet career. The highlights of her life were the weddings of her two children, the birth of her grandchildren and the “rebirth” of her step-grandchildren!
An avid social butterfly, she often left her husband on the couch while she attended Madonna concerts, met Duran Duran backstage, and tap-danced on the National Mall. For many years she was a seat filler at the Oscars—front and center with stars like Anthony Hopkins, John Travolta, Tom Hanks and Sharon Stone. She loved to entertain and hosted glorious parties every year for the holidays, the Oscars, and to celebrate the summer.
However, her life changed in 2010 when Val began having problems in her hands. After many doctor visits, she received her diagnosis – ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ALS is a terrible disease for it has no cure, no treatment, and leaves little hope to the patient. ALS is defined as a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. To keep it simple, it is a horrible disease in which the patient’s muscles just stop functioning – it normally starts in the hands and continues to spread to the other muscles in the body. It robs the body of the ability to walk, speak, eat, and eventually breathe. Most patients live for about two years with the disease, and that is considered a great fight. While suffering, the patient remains aware of what is happening to the body, as the brain shows no signs of deterioration. While the body is almost completely paralyzed, the mind is 100% active. Once diagnosed, the patient knows his/her time is limited and knows that the rest of his/her life will be full of obstacles.
Upon hearing the diagnosis, our family was not at all prepared for the aggressiveness of the disease. ALS completely took over Val’s body and prevented her from doing what she loved best – she first could no longer use “the pointer,” as we called it, to win debates and arguments. Then she could no longer cook, which was one of her passions that she would exercise at her frequent dinner parties. Then she could no longer dance and exercise with her friends. Then she could no longer chew and swallow. Then she could no longer communicate with words.
Her body was becoming more and more helpless, but despite her suffering she continued to live her life fabulously and fully, fiercely battling ALS. In her fight with ALS she traveled to England, Israel, and Rodanthe in the Outer Banks for her last family vacation. She attended weekly movies with friends, and dined with them after. She joined her grandchildren in attending the One Direction concert as she waved her British flag, and attended a Pink! Concert with one of her dearest friends just months before her end.
Val’s body was almost completely paralyzed, but she continued to have as much of a normal life as possible not letting the disease hamper her life in any way. Most importantly, Val never stopped loving. Even when her body had completely fallen apart, her heart remained as hard as a rock, reaching out to others in the smallest ways. She would sit down with her nurse to write cards to friends and relatives, and to make her phone calls to everyone. In fighting a disease which sucked almost everything out of her, Val didn’t let ALS affect her heart. She lived not in fear, but in excitement of what the future would hold.
A quote by Hunter S. Thompson simply states Val’s journey through life – "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow! What a Ride!'"
Unfortunately, Val’s ride came to an end, and on June 2, 2013, she lost the ability to breathe and ALS had won its battle. Ironically, our British sensation passed away on the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation of the Queen of England. She remains in our hearts and our minds forever.
|Team Tic - Join Team||Raised|
|Kosta and Lina||$150.00|
|Denotes a Team Captain|