Living with ALS - myfoxcarolinas.com

Living with ALS

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For Jim Woodard, each day has become a bit more precious since his doctor gave him devastating news.

“I’m sorry you have ALS,” the doctor told him. “You've probably had it for 2 years, and your life expectancy is 2-5 years.”

Since the diagnosis, his wife Shirley, has become his caregiver. She did need a little help, though.

The Joe Martin Foundation's namesake, who died in 2006 of ALS, had a vision for his legacy.

He wanted to create a foundation to help other ALS patients. The foundation has provided two visits a week for Woodard to work on his range of motion.

“My hands are starting to go,” he says. “She stretches my hands, she stretches my toes because I can’t move my own toes.”

Jim also served our country in the Air Force. The VA has helped with the majority of home care, including but not limited to breathing equipment, medicine and most recently, the remodeling of their bathroom to make it handicap accessible

He misses playing the piano and working as a deaf translator most. He has found a new hobby, Facebook.

But what he wants most, is for people to be aware of the reality of ALS.

“It doesn't bother me for people to see the way I eat. I wish it would spark more curiosity, for people to ask me what’s wrong with you.”

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