By Moneca Jantzen
Nancy Lynds has been sharing her family's Amiotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) story as a way to give back to an organization that offered critical help to her and her husband during their time of extraordinary need.
Nancy's husband, Randy, was struck with this debilitating and incurable disease in the prime of his life at age 52. Symptoms of inexplicable muscle weakness began showing up during ocean swims in Mexico and while tackling home improvement projects here at home. A trip to the walk-in clinic turned up nothing. Knowing things weren't right they managed a second opinion and uncovered the tragic diagnosis. It was official, July 12, 2012. Randy had ALS. He signed up with the Society a couple of days later. The Lynds received almost immediate support and access to information.
Lofty plans for retirement for this longtime Highland Valley Copper employee soon turned to navigating a rapidly progressing illness that would come to imprison Randy in his own body. They would transform their condo into a virtual medical ward with all of the equipment required to care for someone no longer able to accomplish the most basic of tasks.
A daunting reality for anyone facing a dread disease of any kind, Nancy and her husband found critical support and resources from the local chapter of the ALS Society of British Columbia/Yukon. Nancy admits that they were lucky as they had significant benefits to draw from, but what made the greatest difference was the specific knowledge and often expedient assistance that this organization was able to provide. Being able to anticipate some of the needs particular to a Lou Gehrig's patient made it possible to manage the progression of the disease as well as possible.
Nancy wipes away some tears as she recalls the last few days of Randy's life. His brief stay in hospice was spent making sure that he could say goodbye to everyone but because he could no longer speak for himself or even swallow on his own, Nancy had to facilitate and interpret each and every farewell. Randy died on December 14, 2013, only 18 months following his diagnosis.
Three years later, the grief is not far from the surface. Losing her husband and best friend of 39 years in such a horrific way motivates Nancy to yearn for a cure.
"I wouldn't wish ALS on my worst enemy," Nancy remarks.
She and Randy's two sons, Sean and Terry, and soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Katherine, are presently preparing for a wedding. One could tell that Nancy's heart aches that Randy isn't going to be there but there is no question he would be part of it all in spirit. The entire family misses him deeply.
Soon after the wedding, Nancy and her boys will attend the ALS Society of BC/Yukon’s 9th Annual Golf Tournament of Hope at The Dunes in Westsyde on August 17.
Attending the tournament dinner and participating in the silent auction and 50/50 draws are another way that Nancy gives back to this organization in addition to her participation in the ALS Walk each June. Her sons try to particpate each year as well. Realtor Terry, for example, has sponsored a hole this year in honour of his dad.
The golf tournament aims to raise funds for ALS patient services and the Kamloops Endowed Fund, providing improved communication technology for people living with ALS.
Golfer registration includes a mimosa welcome, lunch, dinner a post-tournament reception, live and silent auctions, 18 holes, cart and practice balls, each golfer will receive a tee gift.
Registration is at 10:30 am with Shotgun Start at 12:00 pm. Space is limited.
To register or for sponsor information: 1.800.708.3228 ext 229 or firstname.lastname@example.org