Jacksonville male with ALS bustling creation memories, diagnosis was ‘a present from God’ – Florida Times

October 14, 2015 - als

In a summer of 2014, Rich Pollock of Jacksonville participated in a ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge, a extravagantly renouned fundraiser for a inhabitant nonprofit fighting amyotrophic parallel sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

At a time, he was undergoing tests for a detriment of excellent engine skills. The probability of ALS had been mentioned yet so had spinal problems.

“Like so many others, we usually lived my life and ALS wasn’t on my radar,” he said.

And then, suddenly, it was.

Three days before Christmas 2014, he was told he indeed had a lethal disease, that gradually paralyzes a victims, aggressive haughtiness cells and pathways in a mind or spinal cord. There is no famous means or cure.

Pollock was 35, married with dual daughters.

“What does this meant for me? For them? we mean, we have so many things left to do,” he said. “I don’t know now. In existence we never ‘knew’ before. Nothing is certain, zero is promised. Every day is a present from God.”

He knew zero of a ALS Association before to a ice bucket challenge, yet given his diagnosis it has turn a lifeline. Saturday he skeleton to attend a Florida chapter’s second annual Hope and Help Symposium, a forum for a ALS village to plead research, advocacy, care, open recognition and funding.

“We consider a messages they will hear will be ones of hope,” pronounced Kim Hanna, president/CEO of a Florida chapter. “Hope that swell is being done and a recognition will lead to some-more appropriation for a critical investigate function right here in Florida. And wish that some day — and earlier than after — Lou Gehrig’s illness will not be a genocide sentence.”


The tour began in Feb 2014 with an peculiar feeling in his left hand.

Pollock and his mother of 10 years, Talitha, and 9-year-old daughter Gigi had changed to Jacksonville a month before. Their grown daughter had changed out. He attributed a debility and occasional twitching to a move-related seat finishing work he had been doing.

Then he began to have difficulty with “such small, paltry things as buttoning buttons,” he said.

The diagnosis came after mixed visits to mixed doctors who systematic mixed tests. He was dumbfounded during first, yet has given grown a new viewpoint on life.

“As peculiar as this might seem to say, we trust that ALS — yet a terrible illness that we totally do not demeanour brazen to in any approach — is a present from God,” Pollock said. “I am already consciously creation an bid to spend some-more peculiarity time with my family. We are creation it a indicate to do things together and make memories. The Lord has given me a possibility to share my story, and we will continue to do so while praising him, meaningful that this is usually temporary. we don’t know what tomorrow might bring, either good or bad, yet we do know one thing: we intend to concentration on today.”

When he was diagnosed, Pollock worked for a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in a 911/dispatch center.

“As a illness progressed we could no longer form and ‘keep up’ with puncture situations and get information out fast as it indispensable to be, as my hands no longer functioned as they had previously,” he said.

So he no longer works. He is still means to walk, despite with a shaft or walker. For any distance, he uses a energy wheelchair or scooter.

“Please don’t feel contemptible for me. we try not to feel contemptible for me. we try to suffer each day to a fullest,” he said.


Pollock motionless to go open with his believe to assistance boost open awareness.

He wants people to know a numbers — each year, 6,000 ALS patients die and another 6,000 are diagnosed — and that investigate could lead to a cure.

“That’s one chairman diagnosed, and one chairman failing each 90 minutes. ALS is not incurable, it is underfunded,” he said. “Knowledge is power. Many people, myself enclosed before to my ALS story, have no genuine operative believe of what ALS is. Many people have listened of Lou Gehrig’s disease, yet many don’t know what it unequivocally entails.

“If we can be of assistance to … someone influenced by this disease, afterwards we have reached my goal,” he said.


Beth Reese Cravey: (904) 359-4109



Programs run from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, including a 12:15 p.m. awards luncheon and presentations from ALS researchers during Mayo Clinic. Admission is giveaway for people vital with ALS and their caregivers; ubiquitous acknowledgment is $20. The eventuality will be during a Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, 225 East Coastline Drive, Jacksonville. To register go to bit.ly/1X0dfxb. For some-more information about ALS go to alsafl.org.

source ⦿ http://jacksonville.com/news/health-and-fitness/2015-10-14/story/jacksonville-man-als-busy-making-memories-diagnosis-was

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