About Jim

I’m a 48-year-old husband and father to four fantastic children. I was born and raised in Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I spent more than 20 years in sales with the last 15 in pharmaceuticals before ALS forced me to retire. Although I didn’t choose this disease, I’m choosing to fight back while I can so that hopefully nobody has to deal with this hand in the future. Hakuna Matata!

23 responses to “About Jim

  1. linda sue ⋅

    I love you my brother…….you are an inspiration to everyone who knows you, much like our dad was…..
    Always believing for you!!!!! Linda

  2. Danielle Tonelli Mathai ⋅


    Thank you for sharing your journey and all you’ve done to help build awareness….you have many people fighting right along side you!

    Danielle Tonelli Mathai

  3. Dan Bowe ⋅

    Jim, just found out about your battle with the disease. It seems like only yesterday we were delivering papers together. You have inspired me to go out and have fun today at my job. Thank you for the blogs and be sure I will keep my thoughts and prayers with you and your family.
    Dan Bowe

  4. Pat O`Gara ⋅

    Hi Jim,

    Someone just sent me a link to your blog. Very refreshing. I also was brought up in Madison since 6th Grade. I am 49. I was officially diagnosed with ALS August 2010. Still walking…slower, still eating…slower, still golfing…slower. My speaking/breathing are probably the most affected, so far. I’m still trying to run a business out of my house. Thank goodness for e-mail. I actually feel very good. Get tired easy. I’m very happy and I am almost too busy with family and work.

    Are you still in Madison? If so, I’d love to meet/communicate. I really haven’t talked/emailed someone in detail about this progression that is taking place. Everything you write about makes so much sense to me.

    Looking forward to communicating with you.


    • Jim ⋅

      I live in Waukesha now but spent my college years in Madison. Would love to communicate with you. My hands and arms are worst so typing is limited but would love to share our unfortunate journey together and support each other. here is my email: jimson1261@msn.com.

      Stay strong my friend


  5. Mike B ⋅

    Jim – thanks for sharring your story. My wife Mary was diagnosed in 2006 with ALS. It forced her to leave her passion – a public health nurse. She also is a fighter. We focus on family and what we can do.

  6. Signe ⋅

    My husband & I attended the Evening of Hope last night and heard you speak. You have an amazing gift for words; your speach was powerful and touching. My father-in-law has ALS. You, like him, seem to find there is a reason for this, if you could say that. He takes time to smell the roses while everyone else goes about their busy lives. He doesn’t dwell on small things, speaks his mind (as he puts it, he has ‘no filter’) and has learned to appreciate victories however small they may be.

    If you were nervous speaking in front of the crowd, you certainly didn’t show this. You captivated everyone and really did a great job sharing your story. It is personal and we thank you for that. We agree with you; we hope that Melanie will be without a job in the future so that there is a cure for ALS.

    Wishing you the best,
    Signe & Brett

  7. Jim,
    Your journals are amazing and so inspiring! My husband has a high school buddy who was diagnosed last year with ALS at the age of 38. He is married to a wonderful lady and they have two beautiful kids 7 & 4. He has progressed quite a bit in just a year, however they are a team, all of them. God bless them and all of you! Hakuna Matata!!


  8. Jim, my name is Carole Coombes. I sat at your table at the ALS symposium at the Sheridan Hotel in Brookfield earlier this year. I also was at the Evening of Hope the night that you gave your incredible talk. That night we were downtown at the Raddison Hotel.
    My husband, Jack had ALS. He passed away on New Years Eve, Dec. 31, 2000. At his funeral our daughter spoke and she said, “Dad, you taught us how to live, and how to die.” And that he did. He was and still is, our hero. That was his legacy.
    Jack had problems for 2 years and finally we wnt to Mayo Clinic. It was there that he was diagnosed and he died 6 mos. later at the age of 68.
    The irony for us was this. Jack went into business 25 years earlier with a man with a man by the name of Dick Charles. Dick had just been diagnosed with ALS and Jack bought into the business. Dick chose to have a ventilator and he lived to be at Jack’s funeral.
    One of my best friends was diagnosed and lives just blocks from me in Elm Grove.
    Jim, you can see that ALS has been a large part of my life since 1976.
    I like to go into the office to help out when I can–and I love seeing the Staff of wonderful women. Lori, Melanie,susie and Luz.

    Jim, you and your beautiful family are in my prayers. Stay strong, positive and know that this is NOT the last chapter of your life! THE BEST IS YET TO COME!!

    I close with Love and Prayers,
    Carole 262-641-5206

  9. samantha simpson ⋅

    Hello my name is Samantha Simpson. I know of you through people at Froedtert who recommend I read your blog. I work in Neurophysiology here and used to work in Neuro Rehab. I want you to know what an inspiration you have been to me. I read your blog and always have learned something new or now think of things differently. I noticed that you are very into music. I was wondering if you had ever seen the play R.E.N.T the music from that play fits your journey so well. Here is one song I think you will love. Please keep writing for as long as you can. I will keep you and your family in my prayers that they find a cure and soon. You are a special man with a talent for words thank you for sharing that talent with us!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxeWdCJV16E (seasons of love)

  10. You and your family continue to be in my prayers. I hope to start volunteering in the ALS Office again–waiting to hear if they need me!!
    Carole Coombes

  11. Jim, I have told you about my husband, my hero. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2000. He and his business partner, Dick Charles owned a “Sales” Company–(Industrial Sales)–they sold to companies like John Deere–so like you, they also were in sales. The irony was that in 1975, Dick was diagnosed w/ ALS. Jack bought the company and 26 years later Jack developed ALS. Yes, life can be quite an interesting journey!!
    Carole Coombes

  12. Linda Vogt Meagher ⋅

    Jim, we went to high school together. I also graduated from UW Madison. Just saw your channel 4 interview. You are a true inspiration to us all. Keep pushing and fighting. It is wonderful that you have such a beautiful family supporting you. Let me know if I can help in any way.

  13. Mike

    Hello, I am sorry about your fight with ALS. I am a son of a person with ALS. I wanted to do something about ALS for him and for others like him. However, I need help, and I want to make sure that others like my father are interested in this project.
    Please visit ALSFight.com and feel free to provide feedback.
    Thank you.

  14. Amy

    Hi, Jim.

    I maintain an online ALS newsmagazine that has a blogs section (http://alsn.mda.org/blogs) featuring re-posted blogs from writers like you who write about their experience with ALS. I’m interested in re-posting some of your posts…please email and let me know what you think.

  15. Jake Berry ⋅

    James came into the store with his son today, and I thought he might have ALS. But I didn’t want to say anything that might be upsetting or inappropriate. I notice the name on the credit card as I was ringing them out and looked him up once they left. Reading your story amazes and inspires me. It also opened my eyes as to how serious ALS truly is. I was nominated a few times for the ice bucket challenge and never got around to it until now. Of course since I didn’t respond within 24 hours I made a donation too.

    • Jim ⋅

      Thanks for the message and kind words. All three of my boys played hockey and Evan is a pee wee this year. ALS is finally getting noticed due to ice bucket challenge. Hopefully it will help. Dump the ice anyway it is invigorating.

  16. Ken Drapp ⋅

    Jim, I spoke with my parents today and they told me about the recent article in the Milwaukee Journal about you. I was not aware that you were diagnosed with ALS. I’m very impressed to hear of your advocacy work and decision to fight this terrible disease head on. Stay strong in your battle. Hakuna Matata!

  17. Jim eutizzi ⋅

    Good to hear from you ken. It’s a battle every day but giving it my best. Dan Dowling is in town from Denver and will see him Monday. Hope you are well wherever you reside.

  18. Chad Henson ⋅

    Ran into Ehlke and Lonigro recently. Made first visit to Miller Park with my boys last summer and was thinking of my last visit to Milwaukee…your wedding. Keep fighting, keep living! Chad

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