All month, we are featuring stories of individuals who are having an impact in the fight against ALS.
Meet Shelly Hoover. Shelly is a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend, educator, Giants baseball fan, military veteran and ALS advocate. When you meet Shelly, there are two things that immediately become apparent, her joy for life and her passion for working to advocate for people with ALS. Her accomplishments are many. Since her diagnosis, she has volunteered, advocated and fundraised tirelessly. She and her family are why we fight for a cure!
At age 17, Shelly joined the Navy. She wanted to get out of her small town and take advantage of opportunities that were presented to her. At age 21, she got married to her husband, who she met in the Navy. They worked in the same building and were friends for years. They are now going on 31 years together. Shelly is incredibly thankful she found the right one at an early age and enjoyed watching her kids and grand kids grow up.
At age 45, she received her doctorate – her dad had always told her “Don’t marry a doctor, be one.” Just two years later, she was diagnosed with ALS. Shelly recalls this life changing moment with mixed emotions.
“At first, I had this strange feeling of relief, because I finally understood what was going on with my body. And then it felt like I was under water and everything was moving in slow motion. Since, I’ve realized urgency is really such a relative term, because one year with ALS is like 20 normal years.”
Shelly continues, “I’ve learned to become a master at grief because ALS is just a series of losses. Grieving is extremely important, and allowing myself to feel that grief and then accept, adjust and adapt to my lifestyle is crucial. Then I can quickly return to finding gratitude, and be thankful for the things in life that matter most, which for me is watching my grandchildren grow.”
Shelly has volunteered countless hours serving on the Board of The ALS Association Greater Sacramento Chapter, as a NEALS ALS Research Ambassador and as an ALS advocate to empower people living with the disease. This past year, she and her husband traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend our National ALS Advocacy Conference to lobby her local representatives to pass important legislation impacting ALS research, home health care and access to crucial technology and communication devices.
Hear Shelly in her own words passionately speaking about access to home health care:
From August 1 to August 5, The ALS Association is partnering with Major League Baseball for the “MLB Fights ALS” campaign. Our goal is to raise $1 million to support our ALS Home Health Initiative designed to alleviate the financial burden placed on people living with ALS and their families. Unfortunately, home health care is extremely expensive and can cost tens of thousands of dollars per month.
Please help Shelly and others like her battling ALS by making a donation.
Those who donate $50 or more will have a chance to win 2 tickets to a 2017 World Series game!