Anthony Vick spent 16 years serving his country in the Army and Air Force Reserves, including 10 years in the civil service. Vick says he was lucky to be able to serve his country, service that came to an end in 2017 when he was diagnosed with ALS.
“It was very slow to come about. It took about two years, probably 50 doctor visits, two surgeries and was set up to have a third surgery on my spine, and the week before I went in, my doctor referred me to another neurologist,” Vick says.
It was during that visit to the neurologist that Vick first learned that his symptoms might be related to ALS.
Studies consistently show that people who have served in the military, regardless of branch and whether serving during war or in peacetime, are more likely to be diagnosed with ALS.
“I’ve been pretty slow progressing, luckily. I like to think the big guy upstairs is blessing me and giving me strength. That’s why we use our motto Faith Over Fear,” Vick said.
Vick got married just two years before his diagnosis.
“When you get married, you feel like you’re going to spend your whole life with someone,” Karen Vick said.
“I feel like just knowing that he has this diagnosis has totally changed our lives, changed our marriage, changed everything just knowing, you know, you don’t have forever,” she added.
Karen said their marriage has only grown stronger in the face of ALS.
“I feel like I love him even more or more than I did when we got married, which is I don’t know if that’s bad to say or not. But you just never know. And so, I feel like our relationship is better, is stronger because of it.”
Karen has spent the last few years building up her own business.
“She’s put her heart and everything into that and at the same time, has to come home and prep my meals for me, cut them up, fill up my water for me, take care of me with stuff. So she’s going back and forth between two really ginormous responsibilities,” Anthony said.
Vick stays active with The ALS Association Mid-America Chapter and says he wants to be in service of others fighting ALS.
“Whatever my outcome is, if I can reach people through it, that’s the biggest take-away I can do is just try to be the best example and reach as many people as I can to help people that get the disease later on down the line or just anybody that’s going through other trials or tribulations in their life,” he said.
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to The ALS Association and help give hope to veterans living with ALS, like Anthony. The key to a cure for ALS starts with you.