Virginia Woman Who Raised Nearly $1 Million for ALS Research Receives Startling Diagnosis: ‘I Hope My Story Will …
July 22, 2016 - als
Every year given 2009, Beth Prever has rallied her coworkers to attend in a JT walk to lift supports for ALS research.
Through this work, a Portsmouth, Virginia, mom helped to lift $800,000 for investigate and was changed by a many ALS patients she met.
“I saw people pang and felt a yank on my heart that said, ‘You can help!’ ” Prever, 50, tells PEOPLE around email. “I felt like carrying ALS would be a worst-case unfolding diagnosis, it’s like vital in a potion coffin – your mind is intact, though your physique is failing.”
Then, in Apr 2016, 7 months after she participated in her 7th ALS walk, Prever was diagnosed with ALS herself.
Courtesy Beth Prever
“It is horrific news to hear,” she says. “I cried for days. we can’t start to report a emotions that were using furious in my head.”
The diagnosis of ALS, brief for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) – a neurodegenerative illness that affects haughtiness cells in a mind and spinal cord – meant that Prever had to ready for a contingent stoppage of all intentional muscles.
“I still cry and I’m still entrance to terms with it,” Prever says. “I’m shocked of what a destiny binds for my son, Landon, and me, though I’m selecting to live my life with ALS and not cruise it a genocide sentence.”
The lifespan for ALS patients after diagnosis has prolonged been suspicion to be between 3 and 5 years on average, according to a Muscular Dystrophy Association. However, some patients can live decades. Prever says she’s gripping these patients in mind as she looks towards her possess future.
“My alloy told me about a studious that comes to see him each 3 months that was diagnosed in 1976,” she says. “I’ll have what he has!”
The First Signs
The initial symptoms of Prever’s ALS began appearing in 2015, only when she was feeling a healthiest she had ever felt in her life. After a 2011 hip deputy led to poignant weight gain, Prever became dynamic to get active in Oct 2013.
“The initial day in a gym, we couldn’t even do a stretches. we left in tears,” she says. “But each fulfilment starts with a preference to try and we was dynamic to make it happen.”
By Jan 2014, Prever had mislaid 60 pounds and by that October, she had lots 105 pounds by a healthy diet and a dedicated practice regimen.
Courtesy Beth Prever
“It was a exhausting and painful process, though we have muscles now that we never knew existed,” she says.
In Mar of 2015, Prevers ran her initial half marathon, one of 26 races she participated in that year. Then, in August, she started to notice she was slurring her speech.
Her alloy suspicion a emanate was ensuing from a spinal cord injury, though after neck surgery, there was no improvement. So, she was afterwards referred to a neurologist and finally a dilettante who diagnosed her with ALS in Apr 2016.
A Familiar Heartbreak
Because of her years of advocacy – that including fundraising and handling proffer efforts by her work as Senior VP of Marketing PR for TowneBank – Prever knew a fee ALS took on patients and families all too well.
So, she called her son, Landon, afterwards a comparison during Virginia Tech, and told him a harmful news.
“We cried together that night,” she says. “I only wanted to cuddle him and never let go, though it would be 3 weeks before we got to see him in person. Those were a longest 3 weeks of my life.”
Marcus Holman Photography
Now, Prever’s debate has turn scarcely unintelligible, and she’s experiencing problem swallowing and changes in her breathing. “But other than that, we feel good,” she says.
Despite all of this, she’s dedicated herself to vital life to a fullest each day. She’s operative her approach by a bucket list that includes skydiving and visiting England, Ireland and Scotland with her son, and saying her “boyfriend” Bon Jovi in concert. “Although he doesn’t know he’s my boyfriend,” she jokes.
When she’s not out adventuring with Landon, Prever says she gets strength from her friends and family, her faith and a ALS village she worked for years to support before her possess diagnosis. “People from all walks in my life have rallied around me,” she says. “I feel so loved.”
This October, she’ll attend in her 8th ALS walk, though this time, 37 teams done adult of 131 people will be walking to lift funds for Prever’s possess medical expenses.
After a walk, Prever doesn’t know what her destiny will hold; though she’ll work for as prolonged as she can to have a certain outcome on a universe and enthuse others to do a same.
“I wish that my story will enthuse others to use their time and talent to assistance other people,” she says. “That will be my legacy, that we lived a life of use to others.”