My Friend, Anne February 3, 2008Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.
In 2002, Anne Bulger, my friend from high school, began experiencing trouble walking and exhibited slurred speech. A few months later she was diagnosed with ALS, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The disease wasted her muscles, robbed her of her ability to function regularly, and eventually killed her. But, more horribly, the disease did not affect her thinking processes. It left her bright and insightful mind trapped inside a body that weakened with each passing day.
Her doctor, a wonderful man name Neil Cashman, strongly suggested to her that she write a journal about her experiences and share them. Last week I read her book, Ambushed: My Journey Through the Nightmare of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and it lingers with me still.
It read like a long letter from the past, the sort of catching up two old acquaintances do when they reconnect on Facebook after a few decades apart. Lately I have been experiencing a lot of this electronic reconnecting with my high school memories.
I feel sad not to have known about Anne’s illness until months after she passed less than a year after her diagnosis, but I was charmed by her quirky writing style and so happy to read of her parents’ devotion to her needs right to the end. What parent wouldn’t be so caring?
If her parents, sister, or friends ever read this, please know that a part of Anne’s life resides always in my heart. How wonderful that she has left this book behind to help those who have been touched by ALS. Thank you, Anne.