Pete Strobel, diagnosed in April 2013 at age 53

I was 51 years old, a busy husband, dad, avid cyclist, outdoorsman, custom home builder. Life was great, business was good, two kids were out of college and the third was nearly finished. My wife and I could see the bittersweet finish line for this stage in our lives, and we were looking forward to the next chapter. We had no idea that our story would change so dramatically.

It started with neck pain and stiffness on long rides, then abdominal cramping, eventually even a simple sneeze would take several minutes to recover from. We started with the family doctor who sent us to a Neuro, who sent us for MRI’s, EMG, etc…to no avail. They ended up sending me to P.T. for a year after which we got to do all of the testing and more all over again. On April 3, 2013 the Neuro gave me my first ALS diagnosis, I went into complete denial. We headed to Mass General in Boston and spent a day with Dr. Berry and his team, lots of testing, same result. From there we went to Mayo Clinic in Rochester and spent a week with them, more tests same result. It was finally sinking in, I have ALS.

It’s been two years now and many things have changed: walking, using my hands, holding my head up, eating and breathing normally are all challenges that become more challenging everyday. This disease has taken many things from me and will continue to do so, but it will never take away the love for and of my wife, my kids, my family, my friends and all of the countless heroes who come to my rescue everyday. Brilliant people much smarter than me have theorized that God does not exist. I beg to differ. As a matter of fact I have proof that He does exist, I see Him in the faces of my loved ones every day. I see his fingerprints and footprints all around me, I know that no matter how dark it may get or how weak I become that He will stand by me.