Last year when Mom was declining so rapidly, a friend gave us a copy of Charlie's Victory, a book about a Hawaiian football star (and subsequent coach) who contracted ALS. Charlie Wedemeyer was originally given a year to live when he first was diagnosed in the late 70s. Thanks to incredibly devoted care from his wife and friends, he did not decline as fast as predicted. But by the mid 80s, he had lost the ability to speak, breathe, and eat on his own. The only muscles he could move were a few in his face. Yet amazingly, God used these incredible hardships to bring the Wedemeyer family to faith in Jesus, and then used them to minister to hurting people all over the world. He became a sought-after public speaker, even though he couldn't speak (his wife read his lips). Charlie also continued coaching football as an assistant coach. As we were finishing reading the book, I decided to check online to see how long Charlie lived. The book was written in 1993, and he was still alive at that time. I was stunned to learned that Charlie just died on June 3 of this year. He had lived well over 30 years with ALS. Amazing! And, despite being so physically incapacitated, Charlie truly lived--he didn't simply exist.
The Wedemeyer's story was a tremendous encouragement to me. Learn more on their web site at www.wedemeyer.org, and by watching the video below! We've also purchased the complete documentary DVD from www.couragetolive.com, which you might enjoy as well.