This past year I learned a lot about ALS and how heartbreaking it is.
In just a little over 6 months time we watched our friend, Aaron Brodersen, go from being diagnosed to losing his life to ALS.
Aaron and his wife Tani celebrated their 20th Wedding Anniversary this year.
Aaron’s mother lost her long battle with breast cancer shortly after Aaron was diagnosed with having ALS at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota this spring.
Aaron was only 43 years old.
Aaron was a farmer, his family’s farm is neighbors to my husband’s family farm, they grew up together.
Aaron was a good father, his son is Colten’s best friend.
Aaron was a UPS man for 18 years. Aaron’s first ALS symptoms were when he started losing strength in his arms which made it hard to work.
Aaron was a retired firefighter who volunteered his time for over 10 years.
Aaron was a big fan of the Dallas Cowboys.
After being diagnosed Aaron and Tani received lots of support from the Iowa ALS support group.
It was amazing to see all of the support for ALS this year with the Ice Bucket Challenge. Many people don’t know someone with ALS and were looking for faces to put with this terrible disease. Between our community and other small local communities totaling less than 10,000 in population combined we’ve seen 4 people lose their life to ALS recently. It makes it hard to believe that “two incidence per 100,000 people” is accurate.
ALS is one of the most heartbreaking diseases because there is no chance to battle it and fight for your life. You have no idea how much time you have left with your loved ones. Aaron’s journey with ALS was briefer than most, the average life expectancy for a person with ALS is 2 to 5 years. Aaron’s ALS started in his arms making it hard to feed himself, then it moved to his legs, and eventually his neck and lungs. They were so thankful for the support they received from the Iowa ALS Association and any support you can give to the Iowa ALS Association is greatly appreciated.
In the lyrics of Brad Paisley “When I Get Where I’m Going”, I hope Aaron has spread his wings to fly while standing in the light of our maker’s amazing grace.
To learn more about ALS and what has been done in the 75 years since Lou Gehrig was diagnosed, visit the ALS Association.