When I was 5, my dad was diagnosed with ALS---prompting me to start fundraising for ALS research the next year. Although I took a break in 2007, when he died, I've continued to raise money and awareness for the disease, totaling over $40,000. Through my fundraising, I've participated in multiple events, including the MDA Night of Hope Gala, the MDA Muscle Walk, ALS TDI's White Coat Affair, and the Young Faces of ALS Corntoss Challenge. Inn 2011, I was selected as one of Atlanta INtown's 20 Under 20 and was profiled by Atlanta Jewish News the next year.
When my dad had ALS, it prevented us from being able to do things together. I'm now old enough to understand how difficult it must have been for my dad not being able to watch me and my sister grow up, not being able to do things on his own because he couldn't move his muscles, and not being able to eat or talk (two of his most favorite activities). I miss him every single day.