North Victory 34-17 over south in 2019 Wedemeyer all star game

Exciting event doesn't disappoint capacity crowd with many special tributes!

SCHOOLS AND COACHES

NORTH and SOUTH ALL STAR SCHOOLS

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 NORTH ALL STAR SCHOOLS

Bellarmine

Evergreen   

Fremont   

Gunn    

Homestead  

Independence 

Jame Lick   

Kings Academy    

Lincoln 

Los Altos   

Milpitas  

Monta Vista  

Mount Pleasant  

Mountain View 

Overfelt 

Palo Alto

Piedmont Hills  

San Jose  

Sant Clara  

Silver Creek 

Saint Francis 

Wilcox 

Yerba Buena      



SOUTH ALL STAR SCHOOLS

Andrew HIll 

Branham

Christopher

Cupertino

Del Mar

Gilroy 

Gunderson

Harker

Leigh

Leland 

Live Oak

Los Gatos

Lynbrook

Mitty

Oak Grove

Pioneer

Prospect

Santa Teresa

Saratoga

Sobrato

Valley Christian

Westmont 

Willow Glen

NORTH COACHING STAFF

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NORTH HEAD COACH

Burt Codera 

Coach Codera is entering his 2nd season as the Santa Clara High head football coach and PE teacher. He has spent 12 years as football coach on different levels in the south bay. His first coaching job came as the DB coach for Westmont high school in 2008. He then spent 8 years as an assistant coach at De Anza College. He had many different job titles while at De Anza that included: Wide Receiver coach, recruiting coordinator, strength and conditioning coach, offensive coordinator, as well as assistant Head Coach. 

Fred Stewart- Defensive Coordinator 

Coach Stewart is entering his 2nd season as the Defensive Coordinator for Santa Clara. He brings over 20 years of coaching experience with him at various levels. He began his career as an assistant at Los Gatos High, followed by stints at Cabrillo College, Westmont High, De Anza College, as well as San Jose City College. 

Andrew Calderon- Linebackers

Coach Calderon is entering his 13 season as member of the Santa Clara football staff. He has held a number of coaching positions within the program. Ranging from Defensive Line coach, JV Head Coach, Linebacker coach, as well as Defensive Coordinator. He is also the Head wrestling coach for Santa Clara. 

Gabe Ghazinfari- Defensive Backs

Coach Gabe is entering his 2nd season as the Defensive Backs coach for Santa Clara High. He is a 2006 alum of Santa Clara high. He has coached over 8 years at the local Santa Clara Pop Warner organization, coaching a variety of levels.

Zach Walker - Offensive Line

Coach Walker is entering his 2nd season as the Offensive Line coach for Santa Clara High. He graduated and played his high school ball at Westmont High.

Joey Dias - Quarterbacks

Coach Dias is entering his 2nd season as the QB coach for Santa Clara High. He spent the 2017 coaching wide receivers at De Anza College. He has also coached over 5 years at the Santa Clara Pop warner organization. 

Burt Codera Sr.- Running Backs

Coach Codera is entering his 2nd season as the RB coach for Santa Clara High. 

Kyle Ghazinfari- Wide Receiver

Coach Kyle is entering his 2nd season as the Wide Receivers coach. He has also coached over 5 years at the Santa Clara Pop warner organization. 

Matteo Carlini- Team Manager

Matteo is entering his 2nd season as the Santa Clara Football team manager. He is currently a Freshman at the school and competes on the baseball and wrestling team.

SOUTH COACHING STAFF

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SOUTH HEAD COACH

Ajene Palmer

Football was not always my passion. Up until age 8, I had aspirations of becoming a top-notched basketball player since my dad had introduced that sport to me practically from birth. At age 8 by the luck of a flyer I brought home for Pop Warner football, I was introduced to this game to which I am passionately attached to this day. I played for a few years in the youth football arena—even being a part of two championship teams. I also had a brief stint with my other love—basketball during my senior year at Oak Grove High School. 

After high school, I continued playing football for two years of junior college at De Anza and Gavilan colleges. My introduction to coaching came at age 17 when I coached under my dad who introduced me to the passion of coaching. Though I appreciated his style, I was immediately bitten by the coach bug and a yearning to run a team and a program of my own. 

Trying to disregard the coaching bug bite I played a year of semi-pro football with the Central Coast Barnstormers. However, I could not shake the bug so I accepted the job of Wide Receivers coach at Gavilan. Still, there was no escaping the the need to put into operation my own system. 

I moved to Oregon and continued to pursue my dream. I spent time there as the linebacker coach and defensive coordinator. While waiting patiently to fulfill my dream of being a head coach, an opportunity to coach junior varsity at Lynbrook High School surfaced and I jumped at the chance—a leap for which I have no regrets!

Still, I did not feel like my ultimate dream was realized so I began to diligently pursue the dream. That quest led me to my current role as Head Coach of the Santa Teresa Saints and, as Frank Sinatra so aptly put it—doing it “my way”. 

  


Raymond Cook....Wide Receivers  

Raymond is an alumnus of Santa Teresa High School with 15 years of coaching experience at the youth and high school level. He's currently the head coach at the JV team at Santa Teresa. When not coaching football, Raymond serves as the on-site coach at Horace Mann Elementary in San Jose, and runs his own youth organization, Little Heroes, which aims to guide children into leaders of the future through sports and mentorship opportunities. He's extremely thankful for the upbringing that has allowed him to get to this point in his life, to inspire others, and to create a better future for our youth. 


Jesse Dominguez....Defensive Line

Little bit about my self.

I have been coaching youth football for over 17 years and am currently the AD for Oak Grove Youth football. I started coaching at the High School level in 2013 at Oak Grove high school on the JV level.

In 2015 I moved up to Varsity where we won a CCS championship and have been there ever since. This will be by 5th year on varsity at Oak Grove High School.

Professionally I am a Field Fiber Engineer for Verizon.

I look forward to coaching these young men in their last high School football game.


Mike Ward.....Linebackers

Originally from Baltimore, MD and went to school on the east coast. Coached high school football for 8 years in Miami, FL and moved to the Bay Area in August 2015. Named head coach at Leland High School in February 2016 and spent 3 years as head coach. Has spent the last four years as a special education teacher at Leland High School. Married with a 2 1/2 year old daughter named Kailyn and expecting a second child at the end of June. Enjoys traveling.


Calvin Nakagawa....Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs

I have been coaching football for over 18 years. I am passionate about this game we call football. I believe that this game reveals your character on and off the field. It is a tool to help teach life lessons. I enjoy the ups and downs that we have with these young men. It is a honor and a blessing to have the opportunity to coach the youth of today.


Joe Gresham.....Offensive Line

Played H.S. Ball at Santa Teresa H.S. 

USMC after High School 

Started coaching in Long Beach 

Been Coaching H.S. for 20 years 

Currently: Offensive Line coach At Gunderson H.S.

              "   OL Runs Yard  " 


Manny San Augustin.......Running Backs   

Years Coaching: 10

Professional Life: Region Mgr BODYARMOR Sports Drink

Why do I coach?

I love how the game of Football actually does teach lessons that really are a microcosm of real life. Team work, will to prepare, a group working toward a common goal, dealing with the adversity of defeat and moving forward, as well as not allowing victory to blind you to how hard one must work to continue winning.





Your 2019 Charlie Wedemeyer All Star TEAM Rosters!

Congratulations North and South Team Members on your selection

 

INTRODUCING YOUR NORTH TEAM

Player/Position /School/College/Sponsor


Ulysses Alvarado LB/RB Overfelt


Preston Auger OL/DL Kings Academy,  Azusa Pacific,

Sponsor TBD, 


Jordan Ausbie QB/DB Independence, De Anza College

Kelvin & Valerie DuBose


Matthew Azzopardi OL St Francis, Boise State Univ, 

Mel Petralia-Dad's Mustache


Hunter Bright OL Wilcox, 


Gilbert Buestamante OT Overfelt, Gavilan College


Ryan Cooper DB/WR Wilcox, Coll of San Mateo,

David Chau-Gaming Fund Group


Richard Corona WR/DB Santa Clara, St Univ of Colorado,


Anthony Cruz OL/DL Monta Vista, De Anza College, 

Mark Escobar-Joe Escobar Diamonds


Noah Cruz DB/WR Mt Pleasant, De Anza College, 

Nuno & Maria Brasil


Alejandro Flores QB Silver Creek, Foothill College,

Hector H. Flores


Gabriel Florez DB/RB Lincoln, De Anza College,

Monica Flores


Jacob Frank OL Santa Clara, Undecided,  

Dr & Mrs Robert Richter


Nick Garcia WR/K Santa Clara, De Anza College


Tyson Garcia CB/RB Bellarmine, Univ Nevada Reno,

The Salamida Family


Kevin Giffen DL/OL Palo Alto, Foothill College,

Jeffrey Fenton


Brent Grantham DE Lincoln, De Anza College,

John, Debi & Emilee Guido


Gabe Herrera RB Wilcox, San Jose City College,


Isaac Juarez RB Lincoln, San Jose City College,

John Guerra-JND Electronics


Jaremmy Kanongata'a OL/DL Independence, College of San Mateo,


Howard LeeMaster WR/RB Gunn


Brandon Lowe WR/DB Piedmont Hills, Foothill College, 

Jane Tolentino


Alejandro Martinez DE/TE Lincoln, Undecided, 

Sandra Martinez


Brian Nemedez DL/DE Evergreen Valley, San Jose City College,

Tito & Imelda Nemedez-Jubo Prints


Nnamdi Obilor WR Silver Creek, Foothill College,


Dylan Oliver RB Independence, De Anza College,

Jim & Jennifer Carlton


Danny Olsen DB/HB Mountain View, Sonoma State University,

Lisa & Carter Olsen


Isaac Passett DL/OL Wilcox, Undecided,

Candy Arnold


Morris Patterson LB/OL Frermont, De Anza College,

Jim Guido


Camrien Penn WR/CB James Lick, Univeristy of Kentucky

Anthony & JoAnn Destro


Paul Phravixay WR Yerba Buena, De Anza College


Gabriel Reclusado QB Piedmont Hills, Foothill College


Noah Rodrigues DB Milpitas, Undecided


Bryant Rosas OL/DL San Jose, Undecided


Tyler St Laurent OL/DL Los Altos, Undecided,

Jason St Laurent


Jake Sua DL Milpitas, Undecided


Miguel Tepepa LB Los Altos, Undecided


Jordan Thomas  DL/FB Silver Creek, Foothill College,

Michael Anthony Wilson


Itamar Zohar OL/DL Homestead, Univeristy of Oregon, 

Ray Arnold         


INTRODUCING YOUR SOUTH TEAM

Player/Position /School/College/Sponsor


Jordan Amos OT Gilroy, Gavilan College,

John & Chrissie Amos


Joe Barnes RB/LB Gilroy, Redlands University, 

Jennifer Kleder


Zayhaan Batlivala MLB/DE Lynbrook, Univerity of Michigan,

Jena Rajabally


Patrick Benison FB/LB Los Gatos, Orange Coast College, 

Michael Benison-MWB Pools and Spas


LaRonn Chapman, Jr TE/WR Andrew Hill, Undecided,


David Ciprian TE/WR Branham, West Valley College,

Joseph Ciprian


Hunter Cousens G/C/LS Live Oak, San Jose City College,

Randy & Lisa Hooks-Silicon Valley Ambulance


Christian Davis WR/DB Christopher, San Jose St University,

Jeremy & Rachel Davis


Tyler Davis RB/SS Christopher, Gavilan College, 

Naomi & Fabio Sanchez


Cuauhtemoc Daza WR/DB Prospect, De Anza College, 

Jose Daza


Justin Dewitt DE/OLB Valley Christian, College of San Mateo, 

Colleen Martell & Brian DeWitt-Martell Communications


Elijah Dominguez WR/RB/DB Oak Grove, San Jose State University

Susan R DiBene, D.D.S.


Borna Ebadat DE/DT/FB Leland


Eric Elizondo RB/KR Leigh, De Anza College, 


Hollis Ellis OL/DL Gunderson, Foothill College, 

Neil & Trula Hickman-Sentinel Printers


Isaiah Fernandez RB Oak Grove, Foothill College,

Jack O'Brien


Nick Fernandez RB/WR/DE Sobrato, San Jose City College,


Dylan Gonzalez DL/OT Pioneer, Foothill College, 

David & Lisa Gonzalez


Preston Gook WR/LB/HB Leland, Chapman University, 

Susan Gook-Stylist for the Stars


Michael Graham III CB/RB/KR Del Mar, De Anza College,


Jasiri Harvey CB/KR/PR Oak Grove, West Valley College


Trent Huesby TE/OLB Los Gatos, Franklin University, 

Ken Huesby-Hillhouse Construction


Owen Hugill ATH Del Mar, De Anza College, 

Chris Hugill-Coach's Remodeling


Zeke Jasso LB/LS Andrew Hill, Gavilan College


Austin Jobe QB Pioneer

Scott Jobe


D'von Lang HB/CB Valley Christian, College of San Mateo,


Liahona Mahe ATH Oak Grove, 


Devin Mather OL/DE Saratoga, University of Oregon, 

Mimi Frazer-Five Star Consulting Services


Conor Messier WR/DB Prospect

Brian & Chris Messier


Stephen Neary LB/OL Willow Glenn, San Jose State University,

Jack Holders Restaurant and Neary & Associates


Gabe Pulliam QB/FS Westmont

Mike Carrozzo


Thomas Sanders OL/DL Del Mar, Cabrillo College,

Regard Preschool


Ethan Schaper ATH Los Gatos, Univ of Wisconsin-Madison, 

Julie & Clay Schaper


Jason Scrigione WR/DE Christopher

John Scirigione-American Dream Real Estate & Loans


Jonathan Singleton QB Live Oak, Carleton College,

Kirk Family-R.Kirk Builders


Darryn Snelgrove OL Valley Christian, Univ of Northwestern-St Paul

Andrew & Linda Snelgrove-Pacific Point Christian School


Jacob Soria ATH Willow Glen


Nick Souza WR Santa Teresa


Edgar Valencia RB/ILB Pioneer, Foothill College

Wayne Broberg-Broberg Physical Therapy


Stephen Vitek DE/OLB Santa Teresa, De Anza College,

Joe Ferrito-The Healing Center


Ayush Vyas C/G Harker


JJ Wang RB/CB Saratoga, Furman University,

Jason Wang-The Wang Team


Diego Zamora QB/WR/DB Cupertino, De Anza College, 

Blaine Walke & Tatiana Caballero


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About Us

Wedemeyer Family Story

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Born in Hawaii, Charlie grew up youngest of nine children in a very athletic family. His talents on the football field awarded him scholarships to prestigious Punahou Academy and Michigan State University. Named "Prep Player of the Decade" in Hawaii and chosen to two college all star games, East-West Shrine Classic and the Hula Bowl, Charlie was content with his life. He was an outstanding athlete, had a wonderful family with his wife Lucy, daughter Carri, son Kale, and was a successful coach and teacher in Los Gatos. However, in 1977 his life was forever turned around. He was diagnosed with a terminal illness, ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, and was given one or, at most, three years to live. The nerve cells that control the muscles were dying. The finely tuned athletic body was wasting away. There is no known cause or cure.

"The scoreboard says Charlie Wedemeyer won't win this game. There's no chance for a comeback now, time is running out. There'll be no 'Hail Mary', no immaculate reception. The gun is ready, and when it goes off, death will remain undefeated," wrote one newswriter.

Typical of Charlie's indomitable spirit, despite the impossible odds, he simply refused to give up and accept defeat. As the illness progressed, he could no longer walk, talk or breathe on his own, and he became totally dependent on a respirator. At one point, Charlie's physical body was ready to give up despite his determination. He realized he could no longer struggle and fight this alone without supernatural strength and support. He found this in a new personal relationship with God. Incredibly, by human standards, he was able to continue coaching; and in 1985, his Los Gatos Football Team won the Central Coast Section Championship with Lucy reading his lips and relaying instructions and plays to the assistant coaches and players.

Coaches Against Cancer

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Coaches Against Cancer was founded in 2009 with the mission to raise money and support the research and fight against cancer.

Since its inception, Coaches Against Cancer has raised and donated over $100,000 to the American Cancer and National Brain Tumor Societies and to the recently created "Dream Come True" program. We feel very proud of our accomplishments thus far, and have decided to continue with our recent "Dream Come True" success.

The Coaches Against Cancer-“Dream Come True” program is not a novel concept, but one that we feel really makes a difference to those battling against cancer and to their families. Honoring the Make A Wish concept, we would like to connect with families that have been affected by cancer to find out if we can provide an experience that truly is a “Dream Come True”.

While our funds are not unlimited, we feel that there will be opportunities when Coaches Against Cancer can help make a difference.

In order to continue our recent success, we need your help! We need you to share this with friends and family as we look to identify those struggling with their fight against cancer.

We are asking that you fill out this form sharing the story of your nominated person or family including ideas that will help make their "Dream Come True".

Stories can be submitted on behalf of someone else or submitted by the person/family, directly.

 

COACHES AGAINST CANCER

 https://www.coaches-against-cancer.com/ 

JOIN THE "FIGHT"

coachesagainstcancer@gmail.com

All Star Game History

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Some of the greats that have donned an all star jersey in this very special event are Doug Cosbie (Dallas Cowboys), John Tuggle (New York Giants), Jeff Garcia (SF 49ers), the late Pat Tillman (Arizona Cardinals), Trent Edwards (Buffalo Bills/Oakland Raiders +) and many, many more.

There are 45 players on each team from 46 Bay Area schools, representing the very best players in the county. The 2019 South squad is led by Coach Ajene Palmer, Head Coach at Santa Teresa High School. Burt Codera, Head Coach at Santa Clara High School, will take the reins for the North. This year’s Charlie Wedemeyer All Star Game will be played at Westmont High School on July 18, 2019.

Jim Guido has been the lone game chairman of this event for 30+ years "To have seen all of the amazing young men compete in their last high school game over 4 decades has been an unbelievably rewarding experience. Having the game honor Charlie Wedemeyer since 1984 has been a very special part of this event. His story is something everyone should be inspired by." Charlie Wedemeyer was diagnosed with ALS as a young man and given a short time to live. 32 years later, he finally lost his battle. "Never has there been a man who embraced life in the face of extreme odds and positively affected millions of people like Charlie Wedemeyer" Guido remembers.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the gate on game day, at the Almaden Barbers on Almaden Expressway in San Jose, and soon to be online. For more information on the coaching staff, rosters, and details please visit www.santaclaraallstar.com.


Feel free to email Mike Carrozzo at 

santaclaraallstar@gmail.com

About ALS Golden West Chapter and Real family Stories

About ALS

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a fatal, neurodegenerative illness that

affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

• The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years from diagnosis.

• As the disease progresses, people with ALS lose the ability to walk, move, speak, swallow and,

eventually, to breathe– all while the mind and senses continue to function.

• Every 90 minutes, someone is diagnosed with ALS. Every 90 minutes, someone loses their battle.

• ALS is not contagious and does not discriminate – it affects men and women of all ages, ethnic

backgrounds, and socioeconomic communities around the world.

• Approximately 10% of those diagnosed have a hereditary or familial form of the disease.

• Military veterans are diagnosed with ALS nearly twice as often as the general population.

• Most people with ALS remain at home throughout the course of the disease and managing the

progression of the disease is emotionally, physically and financially draining on families.

• The annual costs for home care, coupled with the cost of necessary equipment (which includes speech,

mobility, transportation, etc.) can exceed $200,000 per year.

• Currently, there is no known cure.

About The ALS Association Golden West Chapter

The mission of The ALS Association is to discover treatments and a cure for ALS, and to serve, advocate for, and

empower people affected by ALS to live their lives to the fullest. Our vision is to create a world without ALS.

The Golden West Chapter serves people with ALS and their families in 31 counties throughout California and in

the state of Hawaii. Everything we do advances the search for effective treatments and cures for ALS.


  

CHECK OUT OUR UPCOMING EVENTS!

Walk to Defeat ALShttp://walks.alsagoldenwest.org 

George Brown Memorial Golf Classic – http://ALSGolfClassic-DalyCity.org 

Napa Valley Ride to Defeat ALS and Walk – http://NapaALSRide.org 

Champions for Care and a Cure – http://ALSChampions.org 

Connect with us to explore resources, programs, services, advocacy, our community, and events.


For more information about The ALS Association Golden West Chapter, please visit us at

www.alsagoldenwest.org or email us at info@alsagoldenwest.org

Real Stories of ALS

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Douglas McNeil - Full spotlight article: http://webgw.alsa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=GW_9_2018_12_7_Spotlight_on_Doug_McNeil&AddInterest=3850

Article snapshot: Throughout his life, Doug McNeil has, literally, brought light to thousands of people around the world. Today, he remains a dedicated advocate with an unshakable commitment to create positive change, while living with a diagnosis of ALS. Doug began his career at NASA Ames Research Center as an engineering intern. After graduating from San Jose State University with a Bachelors in Science, he joined Lockheed Missiles and Space, working in the Space Systems Division, supporting programs from Hubble Space Telescope, satellite telephone communications, space remote sensing systems, and other special programs. Later he worked at several other large companies, as well as start-ups specializing in a wide range of cutting-edge technologies and executive consulting. But beyond the scope of his impressive resume, the focus of Doug’s passion is his family. He and his wife Sherri are proud parents to two incredible children- Jessica and Matthew. Together, they enjoyed camping, hiking, and many other outdoor activities.“We have a philosophy in our family,” Doug shared, “to commit ourselves to a purposeful and passionate focus on life.”It is this ideal that led to Doug’s profound involvement in civic activities that include youth coaching, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentoring, city commissions, community foundations, and several school advisory appointments. In 2012, Doug felt he had truly found his calling when he co-founded, “Lighting for Literacy,” a non-profit humanitarian program promoting education and literacy, with the help of Los Gatos United Methodist Church and Los Gatos Morning Rotary. The program teaches science, sustainability, and community service to local youth in Silicon Valley, while providing a much needed resource to impoverished youth internationally.  In 2013, President Barack Obama's "Educate to Innovate" initiative and the White House administration recognized “Lighting for Literacy” as Champions of Change. In June of 2017, after sustaining a concussion from a fall, Doug had to take leave from his work. Shortly afterward, he received the diagnosis of ALS.  “Hearing this news about the person who has been your soul mate for forty years is devastating,” Sherri said. By November, he was unable to swallow properly, leading to malnutrition, aspiration, and pneumonia.  Doug was rushed to the emergency room just after midnight on January 1, 2018. After a 40-day hospitalization, Doug was faced with the difficult decision and hard reality of permanent incubation and 24 hr care. ”What inspires each of us can provide a model for countless people with ALS. This does not mean that we don't suffer, but we can find meaning through compassion and comfort in helping others,” said Doug. You can join Doug and his family at the Silicon Valley Walk on October 5 at Coyote Point.   Register today or make a gift to Team Maverick at SiliconValleyWalktoDefeatALS.org.  



Lorene Lee - Full spotlight article: http://webgw.alsa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=GW_12_voiceyourlove_lee

Lorene's Letter snapshot: (She composed this message, using assistive communication technology with a visual-tracking system. Lorene typed the words, one letter at a time, using her eyes.) "In my first attempt to write this letter to you, I had written a few paragraphs on my marriage and life. But later, I got to thinking it sounded just like any other couple, going through the usual everyday problems. The next morning, I was going to change everything. When I got to my device, it was erased. What happened is beyond me. This is a problem I sometimes face with this computer. So I will begin again with what I really want to express. When I was first diagnosed with ALS in 2010, I knew it was going to be serious because of all the different tests I took. So, in a sense, I was prepared for bad news. It was my husband, Tony, that took it so hard. He had lost both his sister and his father earlier that same year, and we were also caring for his 16 year-old niece. It was an unbelievable time in our story. By 2012, I had lost my ability to speak and now rely on a speech-generating device with an eye-tracking system to communicate.I used to say that I am from Venus, and Tony says he isn’t from Mars, he is from Pluto (hahaha)! But after many years of disagreements, misunderstandings, and stupid fights, our bond is stronger than ever. I won’t let ALS come between us. No way! This disease is not for the faint of heart. It’s like we just got past the honeymoon stage and have to start all over, and you are on a roller coaster, with a cliff up ahead. I am one of the “lucky” ones living with ALS, who has surpassed the usual five-year survival rate. ALS is a terrible, awful, deadly disease. Tough, sad, ugly, heartbreaking- yes. A learning experience- YES. I have personally learned big time that hate, despair, loneliness, misunderstanding, and sorrow can be changed by opening your heart through love. Even with acceptance of this illness and all of its challenges, I am STILL learning. With all the challenges of living with ALS, giving my loved ones their due is often fallen by the wayside, especially saying how much deep gratitude and appreciation I feel." You can join Lorene and her family at the Silicon Valley Walk on October 5 at Coyote Point.  Register today or make a gift to Lorene's Team at SiliconValleyWalktoDefeatALS.org.  

More families affected

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Bill Beaton - Full spotlight article: http://webgw.alsa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=GW_9_2018_09_26_Spotlight_on_Bill_and_Ann_Beaton&AddInterest=3850

Article snapshot:   Bill had a long and successful career as a finance executive for several large agriculture firms and his wife Ann worked in the local school district. They had planned their golden years to be filled with the activities they loved; hiking, playing golf, and skiing- something Bill had set a personal goal to be able to do well into his eighties. But life had a different plan for the Beaton family. It was, in fact, during a ski trip that Bill began to notice a change in his body. He was not able to turn as well and his right foot was very cold. “Of course, I chocked this up to the fact he had been shoveling snow in his Sperry top siders!” Ann said. “But a month or so later, Bill developed drop foot in his right foot. We went to a spine surgeon who performed a laminectomy on his back to relieve pressure on his nerves. When this didn't work, he sent us to a neurologist. She suspected ALS, and then we went to UCSF for the formal evaluation.” Upon learning of his diagnosis of ALS in June 2017 at the age 64, Bill’s initial reaction was, “Wait a minute- this is not part of our retirement plan!” Having always been a proactive person, Ann at first welcomed all the pamphlets and informational literature that their Golden West Chapter care manager offered them. “I am a planner, by nature, always looking towards the future and what needs to be accomplished,” she said. “But as I started to learn more, I felt very overwhelmed. Over these several months, I have learned that what works best for us is to take things one day at a time.“  One thing that has stood out for both Bill and Ann during this challenging time is the importance of support. From local medical services, to clinical professionals, from chapter care managers to support groups, the value of this wraparound model of community-based care services has been immeasurable. Through their participation in the Golden West Chapter’s 19th annual East Bay Walk to Defeat ALS, they raised over $22,000 for the ALS community. “My outlook on life is reflected in our family’s motto – It is what it is,” Bill says, “I picked up this phrase at work 20 years ago and started using it. In fact, our entire family started using it. We used it so often, our daughter in law bought us a plaque with the phrase that we keep on the family refrigerator. It reminds us that for whatever life throws our way to not worry about it and to make the best of the situation. If you worry, you suffer twice."   You can join the East Bay Walk on November 2 in Walnut Creek.  Register today or make a gift at EastBayWalktoDefeatALS.org.  


Miles McConnell -  Full spotlight article:  http://webgw.alsa.org/site/PageServer/?pagename=GW_9_2018_08_30_Spotlight_MIles_McConnell_Dubie_Breen
 

Article snapshot:  From his earliest childhood memories growing up in Marin county, Miles McConnell was always outside doing something. Being such an active person, Miles noticed a change in his coordination right away when he was on one of his outdoor adventures. “I felt my first symptom of things to come on a day of backcountry skiing off of Carson Pass in April of 2014,” shared Miles. “I wasn't linking turns like I was accustomed to, and wrote it off as a bad day.  When I sprained my ankle in September running (on our first day of a week in Hawaii!), I realized that something wasn't right.  By February of 2015 I had been told that I had ALS. I was only 49 years old.”  “In hindsight, the process of coping with a life changing diagnosis was broken down into distinct phases: shock and fear, then anger, then overwhelming grief [...] I can spend a day tinkering with my latest innovation for making my daily activities or adventures easier, go for a ride on my recumbent trike, or sit out back and meditate,” said Miles. “I miss the mobility I so enjoyed all of those years, but instead of focusing on what I've lost, choose to focus on all of the opportunities that await.”  Together, Miles and his wife, Dubie, decided that this news wasn’t going stop them from doing the things they loved together. They formed Team S(Miles) and became involved in The ALS Association Golden West Chapter's Sonoma County Walk to Defeat ALS and Napa Valley Ride to Defeat ALS. “Life is full of joy and uncertainty.  It's easy to get caught up in regretting what did or didn't happen in the past, or fretting about what may happen in the future.  But the present is what's really important, and making the most out of the cards you're dealt.  Living with ALS has reinforced this concept for me. I'm incredibly lucky to have my wife's support through this journey. Dubie provides me total freedom in my day to day activities.   Life is sweet, and I intend to make the most of what's left!” You can join Miles and his family at the Napa Valley Ride on September 21 in Napa.   Register today or make a gift to Team S(M)iles at NapaValleyRide.org.  


Juan Reyes - We don't have a spotlight on Juan Reyes, but we can get more written content from his family within the next few days. We know that he was formerly an officer for the SJPD and he participates in the Silicon Valley Walk with his team "Retired SJPD Officer Juan Reyes #ALS Warrior." Before engaging with our community walk, he had done other philanthropic work to help the youth in his community (I believe through the San Jose Police Activities League). In 2018, his niece orchestrated an ALS awareness night with the San Jose Giants. She wrote: In February of 2017 my Uncle Juan was diagnosed with ALS. While this is probably the biggest curveball my family and I could have gotten, we are all in this journey together and swinging for the fences. Through everything, I can say he has never lost his sense of humor. I don't think there will ever be a day he isn't making fun of us or laughing at us in some way, because that is who is is, ALS or not. 

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