Brewer Native’s Film Tells Story Of His ALS Diagnosis [VIDEO]
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As Bangor prepares for another Walk to Defeat ALS, I encourage you to watch this short film about one of my classmates and the start of his journey.
I remember Jim Kingsbury as one of the fastest runners on Brewer High School’s track team. He was one of those great guys, who always had a smile on his face and a funny remark. We traveled in different circles, as often happens in high school, so I didn’t know him well. But I always knew that he was a very nice guy who seemed to get along with everyone.
So, like others in my class, I was saddened to hear that Jim had been diagnosed with ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. I was very familiar with the debilitating illness that’s also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, because the woman who originally owned our radio station died from it years earlier. It’s a horrible disease that shuts down a person’s bodily functions but leaves their minds intact, basically trapping them inside a frozen shell.
Jim fought long and hard, surviving 10 years from when this film began. He used all the technology he could to continue his life, despite what was happening to his body. I saw a TV report about him a few years ago that showed how he could use a computer that recorded eye movements to communicate, when his voice had been silenced. I’d watch posts on Facebook where his family would share memorable events via the internet. But, as with all patients, the fight finally came to an end. Jim Kingsbury died on August 11th, 2017.
I hope you’ll watch the film and then consider signing up for this year’s Walk to Defeat ALS. More research is needed so that, maybe someday, families won’t have to go through what Jim’s family did. The walk is being held at Hayford Park in Bangor on August 26th. For all the details, log onto the event’s website.
Rest in peace, Jim. Thank you for sharing your story. We know that, somewhere, you’re running again with a big ol’ smile on your face.