On October 25, 2016 at 21 years of age, I was diagnosed with ALS during my senior year at the University of Oregon. About a month prior to my diagnosis, the first symptom I noticed was constant twitching of my leg muscles and irregular cramping throughout my body. After 2 weeks of monitoring this, I saw a doctor for the first time. I was alarmed when I noticed that I had lost 15lbs in the span of 3 weeks, with no change in my diet or exercise patterns. After seeing 3 neurologists and despite being so young, as ALS is mostly common in people who are in their 40s, 50s, and 60+, I showed clear symptoms of having ALS and those symptoms still haven't stopped, and will never stop until a cure is found. To learn more about ALS and what it does to the body, please visit: http://www.als.net/what-is-als/.
I have so many dreams that I want to live out and I've been so ambitious to follow those dreams since a very young age. 3 days before I was diagnosed with ALS, I asked the love of my life to marry me and spend the rest of my life with me. As our journey started in 8th grade at 13 years old, we've been talking about having 4 kids (even the names of the kids when we were only 14 lol), getting our dreams jobs to support our family, traveling the world together, and living with each other until we are 100 years old.
Knowing that all of that might be taken away from me is the single, hardest thing I've ever had to deal with in my entire life. I don't want to speed up my life because of this disease. I don't want to not be able to help Bella change the diapers of our kids, or sing them a lullaby, or watch them graduate from school, or teach them to throw a baseball, or tell them through my own voice that I love them with all of my heart. I don't want to have to watch my family and friends suffer and witness this disease take over my body as it is starting to. I don't want to not be able to live out my dreams that I've been working so hard to achieve.
Education and Future Career
At the University of Oregon, I'm attaining a degree in Sports Business and a focus in Non-Profit Management. Through sports, I want to make a difference in the world. The power and beauty that sports hold to bring communities together and solve social issue in our world is truly unique and impactful. I've worked tirelessly and virtually for free for the last 4 years of college to sacrifice and set myself up for a career after college that I can support my family through. I've had the opportunity to have so many amazing experiences, meet so many great people, and feel 110% prepared to enter into the real world and make an impact in people's lives. Peep my LinkedIn profile to see all of the cool stuff I've done over the past 4 years!
I want to make a difference in people's lives who are faced with struggle or unfortunate life situations. Sports can do that. I know I have the ability to do that. But if one day I can't write, type, move my body, eat, breathe on my own, or even talk and use my own voice, I might not have the chance to carry out this goal of mine. All I want to do is be a contributing member of society, do something I am passionate for and support my family. That's what I've been working so hard to do and I'm not going to let this disease stop me from that.
#YolkUp4ALS - Challenge 4 of your friends, family or role modes to #YolkUp!
Part 1: Crack an egg into a cup and drink it! Donate $10 for each egg you crack and drink. If you'd like an alternative to this and still want to participate, hard-boil an egg, peel the shell off and eat it as fast as you can!
Drinking egg yolk has many health benefits for you. When you drink the egg yolk, you're literally yolking up for those living with ALS and making your body healthier at the same time! Many people do this on a daily basis as part of their diet. The association and risk of salmonella within egg yolk has been exaggerated in the past and is extremely minimal. I wouldn't be doing this aspect of the video if it wasn't healthy for the body as my health is very important to me. If you'd like more information on the health benefits of egg yolk, please visit the link below. Free range, organic and pasteurized eggs are the most healthiest eggs for you so please consider using these types of eggs before Yolking Up!
Part 2: Do your best Muscle Flex and do the Ice Bucket Challenge! Donate $10 for every bucket of ice water you dump on yourself.
IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS, PLEASE AT LEAST SHARE THIS PAGE TO GENERATE AWARENESS FOR ALS AND PLEASE HELP DONATE TO FIND A CURE.
The future is unpredictable for me. As the average life expectancy for someone with ALS is 2-5 years after diagnosis, I've never been more frightened and desperate for help in my entire life. I've struggled for the past 7 months to actually tell people that I have ALS because I don't want people to treat or think of me differently. But, I know that this disease is so much bigger than myself which is why I made this campaign and video. Through this, I hope to raise awareness for what ALS really is and hope to increase fundraising to find a cure.
I need your help and will be forever thankful for any donation that is made and any type of advocating you participate in for ALS. Whether it is through this campaign or sharing my story with a friend, it makes all the difference in the world. Every penny matters, so please donate what you can to help save my life and the lives of so many people with ALS.
I LOVE YOU ALL!