Mother With ALS Travels Cross Country for Son

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    NEWSLETTERS

    As Tim Best packs for the trip of a lifetime, his wife, Cheryl, looks on. Cheryl has ALS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," and is unable to move her limbs or speak.

    They're driving all the way to North Carolina, family dog in tow, to watch their only son, Gavin, graduate from Duke University.

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    Cheryl was once a vice president of a major corporation, but since diagnosis in July 2008 her symptoms have progressed rapidly.
     
    "By October 2008, she was fully in a wheelchair,” Tim said. “By December, she (had) very, very little speaking at all.”
     
    Now she is only able to move her head and eyes.  Until recently, she was able to communicate using a high-tech device attached to her chair.
     
    “It's designed to read the direction of her eye movement and then triangulate on a screen where she's looking, and then she triggers things by blinking,” he said.
     
    But lately, even that has become more difficult..
     
    “The machine's having a hard time picking her up," he said. 
     
    They have been a couple for 40 years,  and this trip to visit their son is monumental.
     
    "It is her next goal,” he said. “And she will have another one after that."
     
    Cheryl and Tim and chronicled their experiences since diagnosis on  blog: http://cherylbest.blogspot.com