Brian Fender, diagnosed in February of 2011 at age 42.
Died August 4, 2017.
I was diagnosed with ALS in February of 2011. Ron, my partner of 21 years, and I held onto our adult lives in New York for a year after the diagnosis. We went home to Arkansas for a visit, and I never went back. I have continued my creative career from bed with a gorgeous view, which I am thankful for every day.
I can barely walk, I haven’t talked in a year and a half, haven’t eaten or drank anything in the same amount of time. But by some miracle, even though my hands are skeletal with indentations between every bone, I have not lost the ability to type.
I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be the person I am today. Although my efforts in writing for film have continued, I anticipated this to be the most prolific time of my life, growing my relationships with other creatives in the business, traveling, enjoying my physicality as I grew older and stronger.
I had been so focused on this breakthrough in my career that I didn’t fully appreciate the life I was living. Now I am grateful for the smallest of things, the beautiful birds that frequent our bird feeders outside my window, the beauty of the natural world that surrounds us, and the incredible amount of love I receive from family and friends.
It took a terminal illness to make me fully appreciate the multitude of blessings that come with just being alive.