Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mervin Cale and ALS

Mervin was diagnosed with ALS in March 2004. At the time he was a very muscular 210 lbs and was busy remoldoling our kitchen. In less than 3 years he weighed 139 lbs and could no longer walk, talk, eat or even breathe on his own. The only movement he could control were 3 fingers on his right hand and his eyelids.
This was a man that worked hard all his life. He served the public his entire adult life. He was drafted into the Army at 19 and drove a tank during the Korean War. After the war he was hired as a police man retiring in 1985.

Mervin was born to deaf unspeaking parents and did not learn to speak until he entered first grade. Once he could speak he was the spokesman for his family--at 7 years of age!! From this time on he was responsible to a fault. Can you imagine being so self-reliant and independent your entire life and then in a span of less than 3 years come to the place where you could not even scratch your own nose.

Mervin never said " why me". He wondered if there was something in his past that he may have done to cause this terrible disease to attack him. He had not been exposed to a lot of chemicals, he never smoked or drank to excess. He lived a very physcal life style- always taking the steps and keeping in shape. There were no answers for him.

There is no treatment or cure for this disease so that means there is also no hope. Please help us to spread the word. You never know who will be attacked next--it could be you or a loved one.


ALS Grumpy said...


I never knew his first name, I just knew him as, Cale. Thanks for sharing your story. Maybe we can raise enough awareness and action to make a difference. I pray that it is so.

RCB said...

I found your story very touching. It illustrates very well the toll placed on PALS.