Local man shares his story of battling A.L.S for National A.L.S Awareness Month

Tragedy will hit every family at some point, but what matters is how you deal with it. With May being National A.L.S month, one man decided to share his journey in hopes of educating and encouraging others to keep pressing on.

Posted: May 27, 2018 9:05 PM
Updated: May 28, 2018 9:59 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Jerry 'Stan' Williams has A.L.S.

The condition he has is taking over his body. It started at his feet leaving him unable to walk and is working it's way up to his chest.

One day he won't be able to speak.

"I'm trying not to let A.L.S define my life. I'm trying to define it as it should be with anyone who is confronted with a battle in life, we can't let it define us. We have to define it,"Williams said.

Williams is a father and grandfather. To Lisa Williams, a loving husband of 36 years. Two of those years battling A.L.S, dealing with muscles twitching and uncontrollable spasms.

"He is energetic. He's passionate. He's over the top at times. He loves big. He wants so bad to leave a legacy,"Lisa Williams said.

Since his diagnosis, his life and his wife's changed drastically.

"We've had to adjust our lifestyle. We had to adjust our house. We've had to adjust our travel plans,"Lisa added.

They make it work. In most cases of A.L.S the spouse is usually the first caregiver.

Through it all they've been each other's cheerleader.

Williams still gets to do some things he enjoys with family right there, but both know there will be a time when he's not able to.

"Everything you use a muscle for is dying, so you use muscles just to get a voice out. You use muscles to swallow. You use muscles to breathe. Your diaphragm is a muscle,"Lisa said.

In some cases people lose their voice or die from suffocation, but he doesn't worry himself with the how or when. What he says or writes is focus now.

"I'm writing letters to my grandchildren for future dates for the times they get married or purdue university of course, and i'm writing a book, a memoir of growing up with my dad and grandfather in their small town used car lot because that's the story I want to pass on," Stan said.

On average when someone has A.L.S, the life span after being diagnosed is 3 to 5 years. Williams wife said Stan is just over the hump of year three.

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