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Old 11-11-2008, 02:46 PM #1
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BobbyB BobbyB is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: North Carolina
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BobbyB BobbyB is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,609
15 yr Member
Post Incurable disease marks a farmer's final harvest

Incurable disease marks a farmer's final harvest

This is the time of year when even the most stoic of farmers, cracks a smile.

The fall harvest on the Richards farm, just outside of Hope, Minnesota used to be filled with so much hope but this fall, despair has cast it's ugly cloud.

"The world kind of drops out from underneath you," Gary Richards said with a sigh.

Nine months ago, 44-year-old Gary Richards was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease.
It is incurable and cruel.

"Everyday there is something else you can't do anymore," Richards said.

Gary's muscle's are deteriorating, his mind is sharp but his fate is known. In a short amount of time the disease will rob him the ability to use his body. ALS destroys the central nervous system one day at a time.

"I've got weakness in my hands, my arms and legs," Richards said.

Gary's wife of 23 years remembers her husband being a man of few words but never a man who stumbled to get those words out like he does now.

"His speech, his speech is a lot slower," Joan Richards said.

No matter what person ALS strikes it's mean streak stays in tact.

But to a farmer, a man devoted to the physical work of producing a crop, ALS is particularly cruel.

"Walking, walking is a struggle, I just look like an old man shuffling along," Richards said.

And that just won't do on a 900 acre farm.
Because he knows he can't work these fields, this fall will be Gary's final harvest.
But what is unimaginable is losing his family.

"What changes, your future, you grieve for your future," Joan said.

A big part of that future, are Gary's 3 young daughters that he has his heart set on taking three more walks alongside.
Three, short, walks.

"I've got three girls to walk down the aisle too," Gary said.

And it wouldn't matter at all, if he leaned on them, to do the walking.

By Jana Shortal, KARE 11 News




http://www.kare11.com/news/news_arti...29202&catid=14
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