FFF team takes action for ALS to support one of its own

Jul 07, 2015
Ashley Ann Lawrie


June is ALS Awareness Month. It’s been a relatively low-key affair across Canada this year, considering that last summer, it became all the rage to raise awareness with the Ice Bucket Challenge.

But for Lindsay Blue, Manager of Free Form Fitness’s Glebe location, this is a month she will never forget. Several weeks ago, her father Wayne was diagnosed with ALS.

She never saw it coming. Neither did he. But ALS doesn’t have a known cause. Research continues to understand why it strikes some people and not others. It is the most common neuromuscular disease worldwide.

Wayne is 57 years old, a healthy and active general contractor and carpenter. He isn’t overweight, never smoked, and has good blood pressure and cholesterol.

“Until this happened, I never pictured my father retiring, because he doesn’t stop,” Lindsay said. “He’s always go go go, working long hours, doing things around the house for my mom, or make-work projects at the cottage.”

The first sign that something was wrong appeared about a year ago. But “being a guy,” he waited until August to see his doctor, Lindsay said. From there, it took months to see a neurologist, and months more to get an MRI. Through the first half of this year, Wayne endured a battery of tests and additional MRIs to eliminate the possibilities.

“The waiting game is always the hardest,” said Lindsay.

By early June, after seeking a second opinion, the family had no choice but to accept the inevitable truth – ALS. Based on typical prognoses, Wayne was given two to three years to live.

The onset of the disease has forced Wayne to step back from his business and leave it to his son. Mobility issues with his legs have left him unable to trust them on a ladder or when carrying materials.

“It’s frustrating for him, but he’s a positive person,” Lindsay said. “He’s going to do whatever he can to improve his situation.”

Wayne is working with an osteopath on a clean diet that, with the addition of key supplements, may help improve neurosignalling throughout his body and slow the disease’s progression. He is also working with the osteopath and fascial stretch therapist Ryan Williams at FFF’s Kanata location, to relieve the build-up of stress and tension in muscles, tendons and fascia that restricts neuro-pathways. The goal is to slow, if not stop, the progression of the disease and trigger that part of the brain that could help Wayne’s nervous system repair itself.

“ALS was always the worst-case scenario,” Lindsay said. ‘We didn’t want to learn too much about it, stress about it, until we knew for sure that’s what it was. Now that we do, we want to do all we can to extend his life and his quality of life, and we want to do something to help everyone who suffers from ALS.”

To that end, the entire FFF team is standing by Lindsay and her family, and doing its part to help with ALS awareness and research.

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