Kathy ran her daycare for 30 years, impacting the lives of countless kids in Valentine, NE. When she received her ALS diagnosis in 2010, it wasn’t long before she could no longer care for little ones and had to retire. “My diagnosis of ALS not only affected my three kids, but also but also the hundreds of children I have cared for in my 30 years being a daycare provider,” she said.
Every three months, Kathy and her husband drive to Omaha to visit the ALS Association’s Certified Treatment Center of Excellence at Nebraska Medicine. After a five-plus hour drive, the four-hour treatment time includes seeing her neurologist as well as a team of other professionals including physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologist, nutritionist, social worker and respiratory therapist.
After her diagnosis, Kathy quickly began to mobilize her community and resources to join the fight. Her annual community event raises more than $10,000 every year, which she donates to her walk team in the Tri-City Walk to Defeat ALS® held each year in Kearney. “The walk experience is always a reminder of the love and support I am blessed with as well as a chance to help others in the ALS community.” In addition to the funds, the event helps to raise awareness about ALS and the devastation it causes.