ALS conflict a loyal form in courage

February 15, 2015 - als

Mary Beth Benison straightforwardly admits that she infrequently wonders: Why me?

“Why things like this occur is one of a good mysteries of life,” she said. “I keep acid for an answer, though I’m not certain I’ll ever find it.”

In 1999, a 53-year-old Shrewsbury proprietor underwent endless medicine to mislay a growth on her brain. As a result, she suffered some conference detriment and prejudiced stoppage of her face and neck. She also had to relearn a many simple skills: walking, talking, eating.

Five years later, in 2004, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, that was successfully treated with chemotherapy and radiation.

Last June, Benison was dumbfounded when doctors suggested she had mesothelioma, an assertive cancer inspiring a surface backing of a lungs. In August, she underwent nonetheless another vital medicine to mislay nonetheless another tumor.

“I’ve had a lot of use training to accept bad news,” she noted. “But we didn’t consider there could be any some-more after that.”

Incredibly, she was wrong. Shortly before Christmas, Benison had hardly recovered from a cancer medicine when she would accept a many harmful diagnosis in a lifetime of towering medical challenges: ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, a deadly neurodegenerative illness that affects haughtiness cells in a mind and a spinal cord.

The illness fast done a participation known. Benison can no longer expostulate and depends on a walker. Her left side is diseased and her debate is delayed and slurred. The bakery she non-stop in 2011, CocoBeni Confections, is still handling for now though staffed by employees. A approved fritter chef, she had embarked on that dream goal after being laid off as a executive for Aspect Software Inc.

“It’s been strenuous to contend a least,” she said. “I have good days and not-so-good days. I’m unresolved in there, one day during a time. But I’m lucky, since we have an extraordinary volume of support from my husband, my family and friends. we couldn’t have got this distant though them.”

Benison hails from a large family from Worcester’s west side and is a oldest of 7 kids. One of her sisters, Katie Benison-Camell of Holden, described her eldest kin as a “source of adore and strength” for her desired ones. While many people would have given up, Benison draws from a haven of beauty that awes everybody she knows.

“She unequivocally is an extraordinary person,” Benison-Camell said. “I’ve never famous anyone like her. She tries to stay positive. She says she gets strength from us, though we’re a ones desirous by her courage.”

Her father of 22 years, Nader Tavallaimola, described his mother as an “angel” who refuses to give in to despair.

“She’s a fighter,” he said. “She’s a best chairman I’ve ever met in my life.”

Before her physique tricked her, Benison had always desired to dance. And she can describe like few people can to a suggestion and summary of a Taylor Swift strike song, “Shake it Off.”

So she and her sister came adult with a Shake it Off Project to lift recognition of ALS. They’re seeking people to make a video to a strain and post it to a Facebook page, Help Mary Beth Shake Off ALS. So distant they’ve perceived 35 videos, including one posted by her alma mater, Assumption College, and a chorale.

Another video facilities Benison on her feet with girlfriends and family.

“I can’t do a lot now, though whenever we hear that song, we wish to dance,” Benison said. “And we can still shake my shoulders … After we get by a shock, we have to live.”

The family has started a GoFundMe account to assistance compensate a cost of ongoing medical losses and to make Benison’s home encumber accessible. More information can be performed by a website

Contact Dianne Williamson during



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