The moving story of O.J. Brigance abounding with ALS

November 23, 2016 - als

His movements are no longer his own. Whether it’s assistance from his longtime helper Bill or a mobility from his motorized wheelchair, O.J. Brigance is creation a many of his life with ALS.

In November, Brigance spoke to a varsity margin hockey group during Notre Dame Prep before a semifinal game.

“In a finish your destiny will be dynamic by your execution, your ability and your desire,” he said.

Hanging on each word, a students seemed enraptured by his voice. ALS has also attacked Brigance of his ability to speak, though by eye movements and his mechanism he still communicates.

“I have been sanctified to knowledge good success and harmful better during my jaunty career,” he said. “In both cases it was a tour and a scapegoat that we remembered.”

A 12 year tour on a football margin took him to a Super Bowl with a Ravens in 2000. 

Sacrifices would come 7 years after when he and his mother Chanda schooled about his diagnosis.  At a time he was given 3 to 5 years to live.

“My father is a clever man, so we had no doubt that he’d be means to lift and lift by this thing,” Chanda Brigance said. “Some people understanding with a illness differently, and O.J. would be one of those people we would reason in high venerate and we do since he’s means to change his thinking.”

Nurse practitioner Lora Clawson runs a ALS Clinical Services Program during Johns Hopkins. She’s spent a final 30 years treating patients with a disease.

“We’ve turn some-more assertive in handling patients, diagnosing them early, removing them into clinical trials and regulating what clinical government tools, remedy and sign government we have in a apparatus box to be means to assistance a studious live as prolonged as probable within a top peculiarity of life,” Clawson said.

But still, there’s no cure.

“God has sanctified me on what abilities we still possess to finish my God given assignments here on earth,” Clawson said.

One of those assignments for a Brigance’s and their substructure is to minister to a cause, ancillary NIH researchers like Dr. Janel Johnson in her competition for a cure.

“I don’t wish to see people pang from something this difficult,” Johnson said. “ALS is something that is so terrible.” 

But Johnson needs assistance holding her 15 years of investigate to a subsequent level. The NIH currently has some-more than 200 ongoing hospital trials.

“Year after year new genes for ALS and new risk factors have invariably been discovered,” Johnson said.

In 2014 The Ice Bucket Challenge lifted millions of dollars for ALS research. That income led to a find of a new gene that contributes to a disease.

While that’s progress, Johnson pronounced a infancy of a investigate concentration has been on following studies formed on investigate from Caucasians DNA. She pronounced she needs some-more African Americans to join a clinical trials for her investigate to be some-more inclusive.

“Treatments are going to be formed on a genetic makeup of a individual, so since African Americans are released from investigate studies this has a intensity for treatments to be missed,” she said.

In further to prayers for continued progress, a Brigance’s are regulating their possess knowledge to lift a transport along, assisting others with financial assistance and resources that word doesn’t cover.

“Our enterprise is not only to assistance people vital with ALS though see them thrive,” O.J. Brigance said.

It hasn’t always been easy, though Brigance has thrived vital with ALS. In Apr it will be 10 years. The Brigance’s are stability to hold people by their work with a Brigance Brigade Foundation.

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