North Whitehall lady fast ALS opposite a odds, for 19 years

March 27, 2015 - als

Tracy Lloyd has amyotrophic parallel sclerosis, definition she has a life outlook of dual to 5 years.

But she’s had that same life outlook for going on 19 years now, and no one can explain how.

Her husband, Doug, has a dainty speculation that could really good be a right one, for all a doctors know.

“She’s a thick-headed Slovak woman,” he said.

By thick-headed he means stubborn, of course. Like famed physicist Stephen Hawking, Tracy has battled ALS — also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, after a mythological Yankee initial baseman who died of it — with confounding endurance.

Science simply doesn’t know since many patients stoop to a degenerative neurological commotion in a few years while a really few tarry a decade or more. Hawking, diagnosed in his early 20s, is 73 and stays active as a idealist and writer.

Mentally active, that is. Like Tracy, Hawking has no use of his limbs. But his mind is as nimble as ever, and so is hers.

“We’ve always been told dual to 5 years, dual to 5 years,” pronounced Doug Lloyd, an Army master sergeant, when we met a Lloyds during their North Whitehall Township home a other day. “And we’ve been told that for years.”

Tracy had an thought something was going wrong prolonged before her diagnosis. When she was 24, she had episodes of insensibility in her extremities and occasional fits of clumsiness. She and Doug wrote it off to a wear and rip of an active lifestyle.

Eventually, though, as a symptoms worsened, she sought help.

Because she was distant younger than a standard ALS studious — many people are diagnosed in center age — no one seemed to cruise it a possibility. One alloy suggested Tracy was faking her symptoms for attention. She speaks feeble of him today, as we competence imagine.

The symptoms worsened significantly when Tracy became profound with their son, Dougie.

That was in 1997. The newlywed Lloyds were vital in Texas, where Doug was stationed. Tracy, a Cedar Crest College graduate, had left her pursuit as a helper during Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown to follow her father into a troops world, happily expecting a awaiting of motherhood as Doug looked brazen to rising by a ranks.

“She would have had 10 Army brats encircling around by now,” pronounced Doug’s sister, Brandie Moro, one in a network of family caregivers who assistance Tracy negotiate daily life.

Shortly after Dougie was born, Tracy fell while she was carrying him. A month later, in Mar 1998, after a array of tests during Walter Reed Army Medical Center, doctors told Tracy she had ALS. She had only incited 26.

She’d had an inkling this could be a diagnosis and knew what it meant. Indeed, she had hoped she had a mind tumor, since that, during least, could be treated.

“I was devastated,” she said. “The series one thing was, I’m not going to see my son grow.”

She speaks slowly, deliberately. That she can pronounce during all is another curiosity in a march of her disease. Hawking, for example, famously uses a computerized voice to communicate. But, again, Tracy hasn’t been obeying a manners of ALS.

The Lloyds changed behind to Pennsylvania to be tighten to family. Against her expectations, Tracy has seen her son grow — Dougie is 17 now, a youth during Parkland High School — and has distinguished birthday after birthday.

She is 43 now. She knows she could humour a predicament during any time though forges forward with a assistance of her husband, her relatives — Dolly and Richard Hahn, who live with a Lloyds — and other family and friends.

The Lloyds live during a tip of a hill, and their residence is approached along a winding, quarter-mile driveway. They have a wheelchair permitted van, though it is aged and unwell fast.

A friend, Nanci White, motionless to start an online fundraiser ( to assistance them buy an all-wheel drive, permitted outpost — they cost about $50,000 — and enlisted other friends to widespread a word.

Friends are also holding an recognition eventuality and fundraiser during 7 p.m. May 29 during St. John’s UCC, 1415 Rising Sun Road, Laurys Station.

It will embody a screening of a documentary, “Hope on The Horizon,” constructed by HARK, a New Jersey ALS charity. The eventuality is giveaway though donations will be supposed on interest of a Lloyds.

“Tracy never wants to ask for anything,” pronounced family crony Susan Christman, who met Tracy by a book bar 4 years ago.

Neither does Doug, who is timid from a Army in Sep after 25 years and holding a pursuit with a Northampton Water Authority.

His pursuit as a recruiter in Harrisburg had kept him divided from home several days a week, something he could no longer means as his in-laws, Tracy’s primary caregivers, have grown comparison and reduction mobile. After all, a smallest thing can turn an emergency.

“A common cold is a outing to complete caring for weeks,” Doug said.

It’s a frightening notion, vital that way. Doug calls it an continuation race.

But his mother has a strategy.

“My thing is to try to keep positive,” she said. “My son keeps me laughing. Him and my husband.”



•The GoFundMe debate to assistance Tracy Lloyd buy an permitted outpost is found here:

•An recognition event/fundraiser will be hold during 7 p.m. May 29 during St. John’s UCC 1415 Rising Sun Road, Laurys Station. It will embody a screening of a documentary, “Hope on The Horizon,” constructed by HARK, a New Jersey ALS charity. The eventuality is giveaway though donations will be supposed on interest of a Lloyds.

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