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Desire to Inspire

Steve Glason
People come in and out of our lives all the time. If you’re lucky every once in a while someone will not only come into your life but they will change your life for the better. I consider myself lucky because this has happened to me two years in a row. In 2011 when I was desperately seeking a new purpose in life after the diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s disease someone filled that void by giving me the opportunity to not only express myself with words but also to go out in the world and educate and inspire others to make a difference in their own lives. Then in 2012 my life would change again when Steve Gleason would enter it.
How often have you felt like taking the day off? One could say you’re just not motivated today. How motivated would you be if you had about 10 to 20% of a normal person’s energy level? Or perhaps your arms and legs don’t work and your speech is difficult. Trust me it is much easier to give up. As my condition worsened and fatigue set in much quicker, I found myself becoming more complacent and digging deep to find the motivation and inspiration to march on. Then I discovered what Steve Gleason was doing and more importantly how he was fighting his own battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. I had discovered my inspiration. He did not know it but his desire to inspire had spread to Wisconsin.
Steve along with his wife Michel, started a foundation called Team Gleason. The mission of The Gleason Initiative Foundation is to:
1. Help provide individuals with muscular diseases or injuries with leading edge technology, equipment and services;
2. Raise public awareness toward amyotrophic lateral sclerosis “ALS” by providing and documenting extraordinary life adventures for individuals with muscular diseases or injuries.
It is also Steve’s mission to show that patients can not only live but thrive after an ALS diagnosis. In doing so, he hopes to inspire others to do the same. With a simple phone call from Steve and Michel last year, I was able to partake in a “rebirth” of my own along with my son Jacob on our extraordinary life adventure to Italy. It was a dream come true for my father, myself, and my son. Stories like this are happening all over America and it is because of the motivation and inspiration of one man, Steve Gleason. Now as I go out and talk to various groups or schools, I take a little bit of Steve and his motto of “no white flags” with me. It is my desire to inspire others to never give up in the face of adversity and to live life to the fullest. Please visit and be inspired like I was.

4 responses to “Desire to Inspire

  1. John Johnson ⋅

    You inspire me bro! The things I would normally grumble about seem so small now. Thanks for sharing by way of this blog! See you in a week or so, can’t wait

  2. Alice Wolfe ⋅

    Way to go Jim! You and Steve are an inspiration to all of us! Love, Live, Laugh!

  3. Carole Ann Coombes ⋅

    Jim–dear Jim,   I enjoy hearing from you so very much. I have written to you before.  I wrote about my husband Jack Coombes, and his ALS journey. His business partner Dick Charles, developed ALS in. 1977.  Jack took over his Sales Company. They sold Industrial parts–biggest account was John Deere and they did very well. The irony was that 25 years after Dick’s death–Jack developed ALS.  His was bulbar.  It affected his speech, his swallowing and his hands–.  We finally went to Mayo Clinic in June, 2000.  It was there that he was diagnosed–we were shocked that Jack would die of the same disease as had his business partner.  Jack passed away on Dec. 31, (New Years Eve) 6 months to the day, after diagnosis.   I met Susanne Kettler at Mass. It was obvious to me that she had ALS and I visted her weekly–more ore less–for 2 years.  Her husband, Tom Kettler, is very active in ALS Society and contributes so very much.   I am busy with my family, Jacks family and 9 grandkids!!  Ballgames, birthdays, graduations and a wonderfull Womans Club. I am also busy with my Church, St.John Vianney, in Brookfield.  I live alone in Elm Grove and I love the Community–so caring and friendly. I recently adopted a miniature Poodle.  She is 8 yrs old, black, and she lived in a Puppy Mill which can be terrible, horrible, cruel places.  She is a wonderful, sweet little dog and is so grateful to have a home!!  I kept her name, Vera–oddly enough it just suits her!!   I have visited with you only once.  I want very much to see and talk with you again–maybe at the “Evening of Hope”.  I want so very much to meet your wife and lovely family.  You did such a good job last year in your Introduction.  I pray for you and your family–that God will guide you, protect you and be there with you ALWAYS, especially when you need Him the most.  We all pray to find the Cause and the Cure of this horrible diease.   Blessings to you, Jim, your family , and our wonderful ALS Association,   Carole Coombes    


  4. K Forman ⋅

    Thank you for sharing your story and your inspiration. My brother has been living with ALS for 5 years, in Wisconsin as well. No white flags. Keep up the good fight…

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