February 4, 2020
It is with a heavy heart I write to you today. For the past four months, Perry has been
experiencing some problems with his left leg. In mid-September he began walking with a slight
limp that has pregressively gotten worse. At times, it causes him to lose his balance and
stumble. After several visits to a chiropractor, and no improvement noted, he began seeing a
neurologist in December. On January 2nd, an EMG-Nerve Conduction test was done. A followup
appointment was scheduled for January 10th, in which we received the results. At this
appointment, we were given some unexpected and disturbing news. The results of the EMG
were abnormal and we were told he had Progressive Motor Neuropathy, which is worrisome for
ALS. (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or better known as Lou Gehrig's disease.) ALS is a specific
disease that causes the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles. After taking two weeks
to process this ourselves, we made an impromptu trip to Elkhart, IN, to share this news with our
children. Now, we are choosing to share it with all of you because we need the support of our
family and friends. We need your prayers as we walk this troubled path of unknowns.
What are the next steps? Perry will be undergoing a series of MRI's in the upcoming weeks.
These MRI's are to rule out any other serious conditions. (ALS is diagnosed through a process of
elimination of other things that could be causing his motor neurons to die.) He had one of these
MRI's on Friday, January 31st, and the results were negative for any other causes. Today,
February 4th, he had a spinal tap/lumbar puncture. This is where a small amount of cerebral
spinal fluid was removed and sent for testing to determine if there is an infection or other
problems. He will also be having laboratory tests, which could include blood and urine studies.
The next several weeks, or even months, will be filled with many medical appointments.
Please note, this is not a 100%, for certain, diagnosis of ALS. However, his symptoms and the
results of the testing done so far, lead the doctor to suspect that it very well could be. They will
not give an accurate diagnosis until all of the testing has been completed.
Obviously, this is not a journey we would have chosen for ourselves, but as we continue to wrap
our total beings around how our lives are going to change if he does have ALS, we are reminded
that God loves us. We know He doesn't allow anything into our lives that He will not give us the
strength to endure. For this, we are thankful.
Thank you for your prayers,
Jodi (and Perry too!)