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Johnnie’s Story: Why We Walk

“We are so grateful for the ALS Association, the St. Louis Regional Chapter and sponsors like the Numotion Foundation. Because of their support Johnnie has been able to receive medical supplies and equipment.”

Johnnie’s story with ALS began in 2007 when his speech started to slur. After visiting with a Primary Care Doctor, he was sent to a Neurologist who was unable to provide a diagnosis. After a job-related injury in 2009, Johnnie was sent to a workman’s comp doctor who recommended a new Neurologist as his speech was getting worse. After several tests, he was referred to a different Neurologist who specialized in ALS.  

In January 2010, Johnnie was officially diagnosed with ALS at the age of 72. The news was overwhelming and with many new changes Johnnie and Connie we unaware of the support that was out there for ALS patients. They were pleasantly surprised when their local ALS chapter reached out to offer necessary medical equipment and supplies provided with the funds raised by ALS Walks.  

This year Johnnie and Connie attended their seventh walk. “It is overwhelming to go to these walks and see hundreds of thousands of people there to support the ALS community,” said Connie. “We are so grateful for the ALS Association, the St. Louis Regional Chapter and sponsors like the Numotion Foundation. Because of their support Johnnie has been able to receive medical supplies and equipment.”

Focusing on the Positive

After Johnnie’s diagnosis, he and his wife, Connie decided to focus on the positives, not the negatives and so far it’s working. “We never thought that there would be anything positive in our lives but because of the people who work for the ALSA and their support, we have many happy memories. Johnnie has gotten the opportunity to throw the opening pitch at a Cardinals game, his amazing smile has been featured on St. Louis ALS billboards and brochures and we have seen how our family has joined in on the support.” Connie said she has family members who attend ALS walks in other cities because they have seen the kind of support they have provided for Johnnie and want to help others.

Connie and Johnnie are grateful to share their story. “We feel so lucky to get the opportunity to share our story with others and hope that it helps them in some way. We feel that we owe so much to the ALS Association so any opportunity we have to give back in a small way we do.”