I read the book, I Remember Running, The Year I Got Everything I Ever Wanted – and ALS written by Darcy Wakefield. The author of this book was a 33 year-old English professor at a community college in Maine who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a fatal disease that affects the nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain which controls a person’s voluntary muscle movement (Walrath, 2015). This disease causes a person to lose strength and their ability to move their arms, legs and body. As the disease progresses, the patient becomes unable to speak, although there mind is sound. Eventually one loses their ability to breathe when their diaphragm and chest muscles deteriorate (Walrath, 2015). Individuals diagnosed with ALS have a life expectancy of 3 to 5 years (Shiel, 2012).
Prior to being diagnosed with ALS, Darcy Wakefield described herself as an avid runner and overall a healthy person, who had never had a serious illness in her life (Wakefield, 2006). In 2003, she began having trouble running and believed she had injured a muscle. After further testing she was diagnosed with ALS (Wakefield, 2006). In this book, Darcy shares her journey of living life to the fullest and accomplishing everything she had dreamed of all within a year and a half of being diagnosed with ALS. This diagnosis greatly affected her life and caused her to make some difficult decisions such as, leaving her teaching position, applying for disability benefits, completing a will, completing a health care directive, planning her own funeral and designating a power of attorney (Wakefield, 2006) She describes in detail her fears and her frustrations of losing the ability to complete simple t...
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...irst birthday. She was hopeful that her son would be loved and raised by his father and her family. Darcy faced this disease and learned to adapt to the changes that her body was undergoing due to the ALS. She was able to cope with this disease by developing an action plan which prepared her and her loved ones for the end of her life. One of the strengths of this book was reading it from Darcy’s point of view. I think her story is very inspiring. It is a story of hope and miracles despite the outcome. Darcy got everything that she ever wanted in a short time. This would take others years to carry out. Meeting the love of your life, moving into a new home and having a baby despite having such a fatal illness is a great accomplishment. This is a very heartfelt book that I would recommend to a person who has been diagnosed with ALS and their family members.
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