Daily Dad News
Family, Community Rally Around Utah Father Stricken With Crippling Disease
March 13, 2012
Samantha Clemens/The Spectrum & Daily News
Father and husband Ben Thomas has been battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS, since 2010 after a pickup basketball game revealed early symptoms of the disease. Just 30 years of age, Mr. Thomas can no longer do simple tasks such as tying his shoes or signing his name but his life has been enriched in other ways.
Speaking with Utah paper The St. George Spectrum, Ben and his wife of seven years, Jena, shared their journey and how they’re working on becoming closer as a family. “When I was first diagnosed, running was the only thing that was kind of hard,” Ben shared.
Ben still goes to his job daily despite his deteriorating condition. Ben works as a commercial real estate appraiser and has modified hours according to what he can handle. He says that he ends his evenings earlier to spend time with his daughter, Emmerson, who at 21 months of age has even learned to help care for dad alongside his wife. “The thing that’s really hard is not being able to help my wife with our little girl,” Ben further shared.
Ben’s co-worker, Mike Redd and his wife Hillary have put together a fundraising event called the “Run For Ben” 5K/1K run/walk. The Thomas family will attend the event, which takes place on March 24 in the town of Washington. Jena Thomas was particularly touched by the Redds’ commitment to the fundraiser. “It just showed us the goodness in people,” Jena said. “It’s been a really humbling experience.”
Ben Thomas is determined to not lot ALS dull his spirit and devotion to his family. “Hard things come to everybody, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be happy,” he says.
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