Battling ALS, Auroran still finds ways to give back
October 20, 2015 - als
I have to admit, some of my motives were greedy in requesting a sit-down with Bruce Lindgren.
For sure, we wanted to assistance widespread a news about a ALS fundraiser he and mother Meredith put together that will take place Sunday afternoon during Ballydoyle Irish Restaurant and Pub in Aurora.
The former owners of a appurtenance pointing tools manufacturer, Lindgren was handed his deadly diagnosis dual years ago. And given then, he’s been a untiring fundraiser for The ALS Association that is dedicated to medical investigate and providing support for patients and families.
Lindgren has always been about giving back. Not usually do he and Meredith persevere large proffer hours to Aurora’s Wesley United Methodist Church, a integrate is during Hesed House any week, where she works in a soup kitchen and Bruce, an engineer, continues to manage a Bicycle Ministry he started 5 years ago that has refurbished some-more than 300 aged bikes for a homeless clients there.
Given all that, it’s substantially not startling a 58-year-old life-long Auroran would rather be out lifting supports than holding empathize parties.
Indeed, on Monday, when we stopped by to see him, he and his mother were formulation to expostulate Randall Road all afternoon to drum adult some-more raffle and auction equipment for a “Ales for ALS” fundraiser during Ballydoyle that will, we guessed it, underline a brew-master theme.
It’s an suitable title, given a fact Lindgren is in a beer-making bar and his Walk to Defeat ALS group a final dual years goes by a name of Brucesters’ Brewsters.
Homemade wash are still being done in his basement, though others do a honors for him now. In a dual years given his Mayo Clinic diagnosis, Lindgren has mislaid roughly all strength in his arms and legs. He can hardly feed himself, and walks haltingly now, with a assistance of his mother and a walker. And he’s not seen a advantages he’d hoped for after holding partial in an branch dungeon investigate procession during Mayo Clinic this spring, nonetheless he can’t order out a probability a disease’s course has been slowed.
That’s why, for as prolonged as he is able, Lindgren wants to do what he can to lift recognition and supports for a association. In a past dual years, he sponsored dual successful walks for ALS during Cantigny Park in Wheaton … and he put together a fundraiser final year during Raimondo’s Pizza and Pub in North Aurora.
This eventuality on Sunday, however, is his biggest try yet. For a $25 acknowledgment fee, guest can suffer food, drinks and live song from JD Klatt and Friends, folk thespian Cindy Chase and a Chicago Metropolitan Brass Ensemble. There will also be copiousness of auction and raffle equipment a Lindgrens wish will minister to a $10,000 thought for The ALS Association.
But like we mentioned, broadside for a Sunday eventuality was not my usually ground in doing this column. Since initial assembly Lindgren during a fundraiser final year for Aurora teen Josh Rodgers, one of a youngest in a republic battling ALS, I’ve been intrigued by his certain vibes.
No matter how advantageous we’ve been, we all know that during some indicate life is going to chuck a nasty curveball right during us. So can we learn something from a approach this male has reacted to such a horrific prognosis?
The Lindgrens admits they too felt like they were vital “a bewitched life”: successful career, 3 happy and eccentric grown children, a amatory 36-year marriage, a pleasing home on LaGrand Avenue, a multitude of good friends. And, like so many of us, Lindgren also wondered “what’s going to occur when I’m unequivocally tested?”
He found out after a 3-month wait for exam formula from Mayo in a tumble of 2013 that suggested a worst. That he would gradually remove all ability to walk, dress, write, speak, swallow and breathe. And he would many expected die, inept and on a ventilator, within 3 years.
So my questions get some-more personal: How do we get by any day? How do we nap during night? How do we not turn bitter? Or angry? And how do we find a strength, even as it is solemnly sapped from your body, to continue giving back?
For starters, Lindgren says he’s never questioned God or his plan. Rather, he believes that “life happens … and a spectacle of Jesus is a faith he gives us to cope when these bad things happen.”
Lindgren also insists he’s always been a “glass is half-full” kind of thinker, so it’s been easier to go from “copeful to hopeful.”
Still, wish can be a wily proposition. When we have ALS, it’s tough to concentration on a destiny that is filled with so most darkness. So what we do instead, he explained, is pin that wish on “being of a 10 percent who tarry some-more than 5 years.”
That line of meditative “gave me clarity of thought,” he added. “Instead of anguish is me, we will contend what a good day this has been and what a good day tomorrow will be.”
Lindgren admits to being rather claustrophobic, so a thought of no longer being means to exhale on his possess is quite terrifying. It’s no warn afterwards that he’s gifted a integrate of unequivocally terrible nights when those dim thoughts led to full blown panic attacks.
He also understands a bed in that behind room is where he will live out a rest of his life, once he is no longer means to use his wheelchair or a energy lifter that Meredith uses to take him adult and down a stairs of their home.
What we appreciated about a review was how honest a Lindgrens were about their new reality. Yes, they still cry. And yes, he worries about his wife, “who got a judgment handed to her, too, as a full-time caregiver.” But Lindgren tries to stay divided from those “really dim thoughts” – even as I’m seeking him to explain them.
“It’s OK to speak about them,” he assures me, since by opening adult about ALS it helps make it some-more than a illness du jour.
Rather than focusing on a downside, Lindgren is all about lifting supports for investigate that not usually can offer wish for those with this singular disease, though for those struggling with associated neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
That’s why, when it became apparent The ALS Association was not going to come tighten to a dollar volume lifted from final year’s impossibly smart Ice Bucket Challenge, Lindgren wanted to do a bigger personal fundraiser.
He realizes that whatever comes from investigate is not going to change a outcome, usually lengthen it, during best. But he’s dynamic to do whatever he can for as prolonged as he is able.
“We are not open people, pronounced Meredith Lindgren. “And we don’t wish this concentration to be on us.”
But if it gets one some-more chairman to uncover adult during Ballydoyle from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, “we are happy to share a story.”