My uncle is battling ALS. This October will make a year since his diagnosis. Our community has showed tremendous support with the ALS ice bucket challenge. Tonight my church and another church got together and completed the challenge. There were about 100 people there. This was wonderful and meaningful to our whole family, but I can’t help but think that they get to go home and continue their lives as normal. My uncle will never continue his life as normal. As great as all this support has been and how much awareness the ice bucket challenge has brought, living with ALS is an every day challenge for my uncle and the family. Even though he is not in my immediate family, his sickness has taken a large toll on my family and I. But having the support of the community means so much to us.

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How awful would it be to be hurt so deeply, so immensely that you forgot the beauty that can be found in someone’s honest smile or the chances of something new with every sunrise? How terrible would it be to completely give up just because the pain in your heart is so crippling you want to end it all? Take this from someone who’s been there, who’s seen it get better, who decided to keep breathing: Keep going. Help is on the way, so please, hang on.