Friday, December 29, 2006

Re-defining Normal

"Every morning I wake up and must re-define normal". That's what Augustine (Augie) Nieto said. He was diagnosed last March, at 48, with ALS (Lou Gerig's Disease), a degenerative neuromuscular disease for which there is no cure. Most people die within 5 years of diagnosis as their respiratory muscles fail to allow breathing.

To me, Augie Nieto is a hero who fights everyday to maintain what he has, and works tirelessly to bring awareness and money to help find a cure. He is a fitness guru and consultant and doesn't dwell on what he's lost to the disease. He can no longer use his arms and his speech is slurred, but he puts himself out there everyday to improve the lives of those to come from the devastation of ALS.

Earlier today, I was going to write about how I am learning to re-define normal for myself, but I am very humbled by this man and all the other courageous people who live with life threatening and debilitating disorders. I would just prefer to say my hat is off and my heart is full by the heroes who continue to work to help others in the face of their new normals.

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