Sunday, February 22, 2009

Jesse's Girls Run for ALS Website it up!

Please visit our fundraising website for Betty's Run for ALS! We have a GOD-sized goal of $30,000! For more info, visit our website!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gearing up for Betty's Run 2009


Betty's Run for ALS was started in 1996 by Betty Norman, an ALS patient. It has grown tremendouly in participants and funds raised in the last 13 years. We had the privilege of participating last year. When dad was diagnosed, there was a little over a month until the race. A week into the diagnosis, I was beginning to feel helpless and like, "isn't there something we can do for now?" There was indeed.

Last year in only 1 month, more than 60 people banded together for our team, raised over $13,000 and participated in the walk or run. Just a friendly reminder, I do recall a few individuals planning on performing better than their 40 year old uncles, no names (Dan Cay) and some people vowing to actually finish the race this year (Uncle Greg...)

This year with more time and a greater sense of urgency, we are hoping to raise $20,000! All of the funds raised go to the ALS Society. I had no idea the capacity of assistance the society would be providing for my dad. Allow me to give you a little glimpse...

When fine motor skills became more difficult they provided large handled cutlery, foam covers for pens and a button hook gadget. As communication became increasingly difficult, they provided a letter-board, a speech language pathologist and high-tech computers that verbalize typed words. As mobility became a greater concern, the society provided an automatic stair-lift, walkers, wheelchairs, a wheelchair lift for the garage and rails in the bathrooms. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is, without the assistance provided by the society, this already devastating disease would create even more difficulty for everyday living. This assistance has helped him to maintain independence for as long as possible and in whatever form possible.

Despite many physical changes, he still has the same twinkle in his eye, sense of humour, mischievous smile and strong faith. Last year, our motto was, " he can win one more for Jesus." Anyone who knows my dad knows that he has a fireproof passion for the Lord. He recently said, "this disease cannot take away what is most important to me- my relationship with God and my family." Many people come to visit and encourage him and leave feeling encouraged. What I most look forward to now when I visit home is sitting with dad at the kitchen table and soaking up his wisdom like a sponge and sharing with him what God is doing in my life. It's a mutually joyful experience!

His two consistent weekly outings are Emily's basketball games and church Sunday mornings. In the last nine months, he has lead 4 more people into a relationship with our Saviour! His walk with God continues to grow and inspire me and many others!

We would appreciate any fellow walkers or runners to come alongside us and any donations to help get us to our very large goal! We want to have everyone back who participated last year and many many more!

Maybe this year we'll have a sea of blue?

Check out for more info.

Kicking off the New Year

It's been far too long since my past post! If I do have any regular readers... (do I have any regular readers?) I do apologize!

We, the original Morales clan + Maia, kicked off the New Year by hopping on a plane to Orlando, Florida. God blessed us with ANOTHER family vacation. He is so good! Travelling was a bit more difficult than it was last July, but dad did great nonetheless!

The trip began with a surprise visit from dad's good friend Brian Harrell and his family from Tennessee. He made dad laugh a lot and was a great encouragement to us all! Our cousin Chinet also visited from Florida for an afternoon. We took in Disney's Hollywood Studios (and the amazing High School Musical 3 parade) and an Orlando Magic NBA game.

We waited in line for about an hour at Disney to go on the Toy Story ride. When we got to the front we watched in horror as the individual carts whipped around in circles into the docking station. (FYI- when your neck muscles- and all muscles for that matter- weaken, whipping motions are BAD!) Dad looked terrified and said, "I don't want to go on it!" But the ride attendant assured as that it didn't get worse than this. I was thinking to myself, "Well... if it's only this bad for this brief moment in time..." But no... It was like that... the WHOLE time!

The ride whips around every minute or so between 3-D screens where the riders have to try and shoot the Toy Story targets. It's like being sling-shotted around a movie theatre with a dozen different screens. It was a fun concept but the whiplash part was no cake walk!
Everytime the animated voice counted down, "3,2,1..." I pinned my hands against dad- one on his forehead and one on his chest to avoid any more severe chornic conditions from developping. It shouldn't be funny... it really wasn't.
Mom and Ang were laughing hysterically in the cart behind (I think mostly out of horror) and probably because it was a sight for sore eyes... A man in a neck brace with 3-D glasses being pinned to the seat by his daughter, also in 3-D glasses, both holding on for dear life. There may have even been screaming...

Dad was a GREAT sport and even tried the shooting game when the ride came to the very temporary moments of peace! Just another example of his bravery, positive attitude and faith in his daughter's upper body strength!

A couple of week's later, we all had the honour of celebrating our friends, Pat and Susan Duggan's 40th Wedding Anniversary. Susan asked Christina, Em and I to prepare a song that would be special to mom and dad. We performed, "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis (their wedding song) with a slight Caribbean twist and Christina's debut on the yukelele. It was a memorable moment, but not as memorable as when dad got out of his wheelchair to dance with mom when the DJ played their song!