My name is Sophie Wallace, and I just turned seventeen. I live with my mom, two brothers, two dogs, and one fish named Franc. I like to bake and spend time with my friends. I’m a cheerleader and the president of the ALS club at my high school. I’m not exactly sure what I want to be when I’m older, all I know is that I want to help people.
My dad’s is Boomer Wallace and he was my best friend. He grew up in Indiana and from what I hear, he was a pretty funny person to be around as a kid. My dad was the life of the party. He always knew how to make people laugh and never lost that quality no matter how sick he became. He also loved music. I can’t remember a day I didn’t wake up to him blaring The Grateful Dead or Turnpike Trubadors in our kitchen.
My dad was diagnosed with ALS in June 2016, and throughout the rest of his life, worked tirelessly to #EndALS. My dad’s battle with ALS was hard for everyone in my family. My parents were divorced and so a lot of his care fell on me. I helped with anything I could; from making dinners to managing his pic line treatment.
Something I want other kids who have a parent or loved one living with ALS to know is that there is hope. When my dad told me he had been diagnosed he also said that ALS is incurable that he was going to die. This was the hardest thing I’ve had to accept, but my dad’s strength, love for life and determination remains with me.
Not a lot of people know what ALS is and it can be hard for friends to know how to help you and your family. I can remember googling, “My dad has ALS, what now?” or “What to do when your parent has a terminal disease?”
There’s no guide book and everyone’s situation is different, but something that has really helped me is working to find a cure. You can make a difference in finding a cure for ALS, just through raising awareness or donating. I got my friends and school involved in fighting ALS by creating an ALS club at my school. We have fundraisers like bake sales and partnering with local businesses to help raise money and awareness in our community. My coach and cheer squad have pitched in too. We sold scarves at football games and raised over $1,000 for ALS research. My one goal in ending ALS is to help find a cure so another kid does not have to lose a parent to this disease.
If you want to join the fight in ending ALS there is a lot you can do to help raise money and awareness, from starting a fundraiser, donating or to even just a post about ALS on social media, anything helps.