ALS Stories

Sue Bryan, Ride to Defeat ALS Champion

Dave Bryan Bike Ride

When my husband Dave was diagnosed with ALS we were shocked beyond belief. He was always active in our children’s lives and approached his own life with joy and gratitude. Dave was the picture of health. ALS was never something we would have even imagined.

Dave was diagnosed with ALS and decided right away to continue living every day to the utmost of his ability and to take advantage of every moment. No matter what the disease would do to his body, he would not let it define or defeat him.

We got involved with our local chapter of The ALS Association shortly after Dave was diagnosed – everyone at the Greater Philadelphia Chapter was always very supportive and provided guidance for us as we struggled to live with this illness. We received information about the illness, attended support groups, and borrowed equipment from the loan closet. Nobody can make ALS easy to deal with or accept, but the care staff at the Chapter certainly made our journey much easier than we had feared.

This disease is horrific. Dave stopped walking, and lost his ability to eat and talk. I missed his voice terribly. There is no cure and little treatment. It is so hard stand by and watch the person that you love deteriorate.

In 2011, we joined the local Ride to Defeat ALS - it was incredible. Dave formed the team “Ride On” with a group of friends and neighbors to bike 50 miles from Vineland to Wildwood, New Jersey. The next year, Dave rode again, but his symptoms had progressed so he rode on a tandem bike. Giving up was never an option.

Then, in 2013, my husband’s battle with ALS ended. Our battle against ALS did not end that day though. We knew that we had to continue what Dave had started. So many friends continue to wear Ride On shirts or wear red ALS wristbands, promising to never forget Dave’s life. So we’ll Ride On again this year, determined to do what we can to find a cure for ALS. I hope you will ride on too as part of this year’s Ride to Defeat ALS.


Sue Bryan