CONTRIBUTED CONTENT: Long-time off-road racing teammates work to better ALS
November 27, 2015 - als
Team Ford Lincoln President Steve Olliges and lifelong crony Chris Curtis have been teammates in a severe and imperishable competition of off-road racing given they were in high propagandize some-more than 30 years ago.
However a dual along with many Southern Nevadans have now teamed adult to assistance improved ALS, that Curtis is now confronting head-on during his possess battle with a illness that flush about 3 years ago.
A internal Las Vegan who is now a distinguished internal attorney, Curtis beheld symptoms in May of 2012. “I had beheld some cramping in my left hand,” he said. “I’m a hiker and a traveller and we was climbing White Pinnacle in Red Rock Canyon when my left palm mislaid hold on a rope. we fell and tore a labrum in my left shoulder.”
It was during that impulse that Curtis knew something was wrong. He had climbed there many times before yet any issues, yet this time his left palm was not operative scrupulously and he believes it was a illness routine that caused a decrease down a mountain.
“I after began to notice that there was some-more cramping and increasing debility in my left hand, and it stirred a alloy visit,” he removed recently while chatting during Team Ford in a northwest valley.
The decrease in his health has been a large composition both mentally and physically, yet a enterprising 52 year-old Curtis is not giving up. No, it is not easy, yet even with apocalyptic consequences confronting him any day; a man’s opinion is a loyal instance of someone who refuses to give up.
“He doesn’t demeanour any opposite than any other chairman right now,” pronounced Apr Mastroluca, executive executive of a ALS Association Nevada Chapter.
Little did Curtis know during a time that his biggest plea was not in courtroom or while using an off-road race. Instead, it was dynamic that Curtis was experiencing a initial signs of ALS after visiting with a internal neurologist.
“I knew in my mind that we had it, yet we didn’t have a grave diagnosis. After roughly a year of testing, we motionless to go to a dilettante organisation during UCLA,”” he said. “I got worked adult there, and on Jul 15, 2014, we schooled that we had ALS.”
“I’m intensely advantageous given it’s been 3 years given we beheld a initial symptoms and a normal ALS presence rate is usually 3 years,” pronounced Curtis. My symptoms have been comparatively mild. we did know we had a illness yet wasn’t too distant into a process.”
Over a year later, there are other symptoms of ALS that Curtis has recently begun to experience. “I have mislaid substantial strength and flesh mass in my left hand, arm and leg, and have begun to remove my ardour as well,” he said. “As a illness progresses, engine neurons are broken and eventually a ALS studious no longer has any intentional control of any muscles. At a end, we will no longer have control of my muscles and will remove a ability to speak, eat, pierce and ultimately, breathe. we will be ‘locked in’…when we can't pierce and we can't talk. I’m unequivocally not looking brazen to that. ”
Olliges is deeply endangered about his long-time crony and instituted a fundraiser during a dealership to mountain a conflict opposite one of society’s many heartless diseases. With $200 from any automobile sale going directly to a cause, sales jumped; and in what competence be deliberate a loyal instance of Karma, Team Ford was named a top-selling Ford dealership in a segment in August.
Team Ford was off and using and so wasTeamCurtis4aCure.org. Olliges lifted over $27,000 for TeamCurtis4aCure.org, all of that was donated to a ALS Association, Nevada Chapter.
“Steve and we are close. we had called him and he knew something neurological was going on,” Curtis said. “He was disturbed about what it was and it was unequivocally tough to tell him that it was ALS. He is my brother”.
As they have in many years past, a span ran in places like Primm, Nevada, Parker, Arizona and many recently a Vegas to Reno off-road competition in Aug in Olliges’ Trophy Truck. As explained once by UMC mishap alloy Dr. Dale Carrison, competition cars yield a extensive adrenalin rush to transparent a mind; and this time a outcome was no different.
“Racing in a Trophy Truck is a ultimate distraction,” pronounced Curtis. “In Parker final year we teamed with Rob MacCachren and had an aged propagandize Ford Rough Riders themed paint scheme. When we got out of a truck, we satisfied how many we desired off-road racing and how prolonged it has been a partial of my life, mostly interjection to Steve. Being in an 880 horsepower Trophy Truck is like being an wanderer in that usually so many people get a possibility to knowledge it.”
Although meaningful that his earthy capabilities will be tested, he did not pass adult another possibility to competition a Trophy Truck.
“It substantially wasn’t a many advantageous thing to do, yet we wouldn’t change a thing,” Curtis removed of a preference to run a Parker event. “I consider maybe my racing days are behind me now, and we can tell we that a best crony like Steve is good to have around during a time like this.”
Also famous as Lou Gehrig’s illness in a name of a former New York Yankee great, ALS is hounding and it’s daunting. However, updates in medicine are being combined any day and Curtis might give adult a normal off-road racing, yet he will never give adult hope.
“There will be a lot of critical hurdles in my future, and one of a biggest concerns we have is my inability to communicate,” he said. “I was guilty of putting my conduct in a silt for a while, and we usually announced my illness publicly about several weeks ago. The law is not a unequivocally chipper thing to pronounce about now and it wears on a people that caring about me. It’s all partial of a routine and it’s all about adapting. we usually do things a small differently now. People that know me know that we do not dwell on what we am confronting in a destiny and concentration on a present. we take any advantage of a time we have and my support organisation becomes some-more critical any and any day.”
Meanwhile, Curtis and his aged crony know improved than to give adult anytime soon. Off-road racers are tough either they are using a Baja 500 in Mexico, a Mint 400 in Southern Nevada or confronting a personal challenge.
“This has really altered me,” Curtis said. “It’s all about perspective. Yes, it sucks, yet there are copiousness of people that are not as advantageous as we am. The day we was diagnosed we went to a beach in Dana Point. My family has so many smashing memories of a kids during that beach. We have a ton of photos there, and it is like a timeline of my family’s growth, so we went behind to that place. we met a lady whose 22-year-old daughter had usually enrolled in law propagandize when a dipsomaniac motorist strike her. The daughter was in a coma for months and had recently recovered to a indicate where she could travel, yet she could not pierce or speak. The mom took her daughter to that beach any weekend given it was her favorite place.
“The bad lady had been by a horrific experience, and had never even had a possibility to knowledge a love, a joys of immature life, marriage, lifting a family, travel, and all of a other blessings we have had. we have had a good life and have positively zero to protest about. we don’t have a bucket list, given we have already finished roughly all we wanted to. I’m not happy about what I’m facing, yet there’s no woe-is-me on my agenda.”
Time is of a essence, though.
“We combined TeamCurtis4acure.org on Aug 1 and time is a enemy,’ Curtis explained. “When patients with ALS turn ‘locked in’ their usually wish for tie is by technology. Too many ALS patients make a preference to repudiate themselves entrance to communication and lifesaving resources due to a financial weight it creates. It takes an normal of $250,000 per year to caring for an ALS patient. Access to debate era inclination and eye-tracking record is not usually costly, yet takes time to learn. While these resources make communication possible, there is still a outrageous opening in a ability to promulgate in genuine time. It is a idea to account a find of new technologies that will make communication easier and faster, yield entrance to larger mobility and support as eccentric a lifestyle as is possible. We wish to yield entrance to these technologies to those patients yet a financial wherewithal to have them.
“However, there is zero that’s going to change a faithfulness to a ALS Association Nevada Chapter. we have never been busier in my than we am right now, yet we need to make time for this.”
Curtis’ family includes his mother of 23 years, Ellen, along with sons Cameron, 22, and Coleton 18.
Cameron is a tyro during UNR while Cole is a tyro during Boise State. Ellen is a handling executive of SK+G Advertising.
The ALS Association Nevada Chapter has a fundraiser called “Food Is Art” during Springs Preserve Nov. 14.
Written by Mike Henle, The Idea Company Public Relations, 702-279-3483