ALS patient walks 10 miles for cause
One Delaware man plans to walk ten miles next Saturday. It will not only a triumph for him but it's a chance to help ALS patients: people he knows a thing or two about, because he is one.
Six months ago, Tim Hill was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, otherwise known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. It's progressive disease that degenerates nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Hill's first symptoms were cramping and pain in legs. It took two and a half years for him to get the final diagnosis in May.
“I didn't know what to think…I was devastated.” He recalls.
That devastation quickly turned into inspiration. Shortly after his May diagnosis, he founded a charity called Ten Mile Miracle. Next Saturday's walk will kick off the organization's first major event. Hill plans to walk alone from the south of Dewey Beach to Bethany Beach, where he serves as Vice President at Wilgus Associates. All donations will benefit new equipment for ALS patients at PRMC where Hill undergoes physical therapy and treatment every three months.
While this is the first major event for the Ten Mile Miracle, it isn't Hill's triumphant moment since the diagnosis. In June, Hill could barely walk a block without a cane, but it wasn't a block he had to walk nor was it a cane he had to hold on his oldest daughter's wedding day in September.
“We didn't know that I would even be around and so, I did…I walked her down the aisle, I danced with her and that was…just such a blessing. Tremendous.” Explains Hill.
Hill says he's in pain every day, but calls himself lucky to be supported by family and co-workers. Many of them have taken up his cause in Ten Mile Miracle, and they'll be there on Saturday at Hill's office where has worked for 29 years.
Michael Wilgus is President and CEO of Wilgus Associates, who says Hill has not only made a big impact on the company on the professional level but also on the personal level.
“We can't do enough to help Tim. Glad to be involved and anything we can do to assist him with this project, we're all on board.” says Wilgus.
The finish line may mark the end of the walk, but it's nowhere near the end of Hill's journey.
“You can live a good life…and that's what I'm doing this for, to show people it's not a death sentence.” Says Hill.
For more information on the walk and the organization, check out their Facebook page.