Tom and Nelly's Story

Tom and Nelly L. embracing.

We want to express our profound gratitude for honoring my husband, Tom, by awarding him a grant to support him through his journey with ALS. Tom was formally diagnosed with ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, on August 3, 2017, when he was just 59 years old. This illness attacks you from every conceivable angle—psychologically, mentally, physically, and financially to name a few—and most of them you are not prepared for. ALS has robbed us of life as we knew it, including Tom losing his speech, his mobility, and his livelihood.

However, it has not robbed him of his mind, heart, sense of humor, or the example he sets for others. The words in this note speak from both of our hearts. In the face of overwhelming adversity, we have strived to live through Tom’s ALS diagnosis with grace and dignity.

While he has also been hospitalized dozens of times, Tom wishes to live life to its fullest and in our home. Consequently, the progression of his disease required me to quit work to become his full-time caregiver. Without any paychecks coming in, our savings have been depleted by relentless medical bills and ongoing household expenses.

ALS is a very alienating illness. It is so misunderstood, and not known about, that friends, family and even some medical professionals try and keep a clear distance because they don’t understand the illness. When we heard about the HealthWell Foundation, we were stunned that there was someone out there who was ready, willing, and able to help us financially.

Your grant has been a lifeline and a blessing to our family during this difficult time. With sincere gratitude, we thank you.

Nelly L.

Sanford, Florida


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