You Have a Terminal Illness and You're Going To Die. Piercing words that no human ever wants to hear. Yet, some of the bravest souls I've known have received a death sentence with unbelievable strength and determination, which hardly seems human at all.
I was a bright-eyed, pony-tailed, 15-yr old sophomore when I met the handsome hunk on the left for the first time. He was a senior in high school and the captain of the varsity football team, who practically every girl at Royal High dreamed of dating. I too, secretly hoped for a chance to dance with the hunky monkey, but my glass slipper was forever missing.
Lucky for me, his sister was my best friend, so I was invited to dinner practically every night of the week at their house. My BFF was the only girl in a family of four boys, so her older brother seemed delighted to have another little sister around to tease and torture. I certainly didn't mind... looking at the hunk hardly felt like torture ;-)
The hunky boy grew into a handsome Prince and married a stunning Cinderella. They were blessed with four smart, beautiful children and life was good. That is until about 5 years ago when he began having some alarming symptoms. At first, he lived with the annoyances as best he could, but before long, they affected his ability to work. It was obvious he could no longer hide the debilitating effects of his mysterious illness.
After seeing several specialists, a devastating diagnosis arrived... my childhood friend has MSA, Multiple System Atrophy. I had never heard of MSA before, but I know now that it's the mother of all diseases, and a deadly cocktail that no one would ever want to drink. My friend has a terminal illness and he's going to die.
My heart aches for him and his entire family. Few words can describe the suffering they have been through in recent years. Their financial resources have been completely depleted from rising medical bills. They lost their home to foreclosure because he could no longer work. Worse yet, now he is totally confined to a hospital bed and can barely speak, while the family faces a move this weekend with literally no place to go.
My best friend (his sister) and I are in CA this weekend packing the family's belongings to put in storage. As of this Sunday, we'll be moving the family into a motel. Normally, I would never share something so personal... but the need here is so URGENT! This family will have no place to live as of Sunday, August 25, 2013. If you happen to know of a single-level home available at a super reasonable price in Southern CA (preferably Ventura County), please call me 541-659-1620. I'm sick at the thought that my friends will be homeless in a few short days! Your thoughts and prayers are much appreciated.
This is one of my favorite pics of the family in 1996. Believe it or not, Mrs. Claus (who is stunning) was pregnant with their 4th child in this pic... and after 3 boys, they were blessed with a girl ;-)
You Have a Terminal Illness and You're Going to Die ~ Melinda Peterson