Cathy VerHey, Michigan mom with ALS, dies during age 50

July 25, 2016 - als

SCHOOLCRAFT, MICathy VerHey, a Schoolcraft mom and mom who publicly common her tour with amyotrophic parallel sclerosis, died Sunday, Jul 24, a day after her 28th marriage anniversary.

VerHey was 50 years old.

She died during home where her husband, Tony; their 3 children, Sarah, 27; Ashley, 21, and Anthony, 17, had been gripping burial in new days.

“She was a best lady we know,” Ashley pronounced Sunday night. “She was usually incredible. we don’t consider that anybody ever had anything bad ever to contend about her.”

VerHey was diagnosed with ALS in Jan 2015, and her illness was documented in a array of stores in a Kalamazoo Gazette.

Devastating diagnosis means time is ticking for Schoolcraft mom

ALS, also famous as Lou Gehrig’s disease, causes lapse of a engine neurons, causing people to remove flesh control, including a ability to walk, talk, pierce and swallow.

Four months after her diagnosis, VerHey graduated from Kalamazoo Valley Community College with an associate’s grade in business. After holding classes on and off for 15 years, it was a accomplishment of a longtime dream. 

But even by then, her illness had progressed to a indicate where she was incompetent to work.  

However, VerHey dubbed a summer of 2015 a “Summer of Cathy,” operative her approach by her bucket list. 

That enclosed a graduation jubilee attended by some-more than 200 people; a family vacation to Mackinac Island; attending concerts by a Doobie Brothers and James Taylor.

The family also mixed trips to a family cabin nearby Interlochen and to equine shows to see Ashley compete.  At a state finals of a National Barrel Horse Association, that Ashley was attending as a member and Cathy as an eager spectator, organizers organised for Cathy to float in a arena.

“The whole throng usually went insane, whooping and hollering,” Ashley pronounced final fall.

‘I hatred this disease’

The prominence occurred last August: Sarah VerHey got married. In fact, she changed adult a eventuality a year to safeguard her mom could participate.

During a wedding, Cathy danced with Tony to a Randy Travis strain “Forever and Ever, Amen.” 

As Travis crooned, “As certain as we live this adore that we give/Is gonna be yours until a day that we die, ” Ashley said, “Everybody was bawling their eyes out. Even a D.J. was crying.”

In December, a VerHeys perceived a handwritten minute from Randy Travis and his mom after they review about Cathy’s situation.

“Just as RT overwhelmed your lives, we have overwhelmed ours,” a minute said. “… Cathy, we are an Angel and an inspiration. And a family … dynamic and Saints!”

By Christmas, VerHey was regulating a wheelchair roughly full time and in Feb she had medicine to insert a feeding tube, done required by her augmenting inability to gnaw and swallow food. 

It was a procession meant to make life easier for her and her caregivers. Instead, “things went downhill after a surgery,” Sarah pronounced in April. “A lot.”

A college grade and a outing to Mackinac

In May, VerHey hold a “Because I’m Still Here” jubilee that drew friends and family from around a country. But her decrease was clear: By that time, she was incompetent to travel or talk; she sleepy easily, and swallowing a sip of H2O was a struggle. She could promulgate usually by gestures or typing on an iPad.

The VerHey family started regulating hospice services in June, though even a week ago, Cathy was “still smiling and happy,” Ashley said.

In new days, however, her onslaught to breathe “escalated quickly,” Ashley said.

In lieu of a commemorative service, a family will be holding a jubilee of Cathy’s life in late summer or fall, Ashley said.

In further to her father and children, Cathy was survived by her mom, Catherine Cray, and her sisters, Jacquie Cray of Otsego and Chris Scott of Charleston, S.C.

July 2015: ‘The Summer of Cathy’

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