Making a Difference When It Matters

Attending events, raising awareness, fundraising, getting involved…when do we step up? Is it only when there is a tragedy or circumstance that has hit us on a personal level? Well, last weekend I realized that my sister queen was helping organize an Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) walk in Fargo and I wasn’t signed up to participate!! There are so many times we push things aside because it doesn’t affect us personally and we feel it is another person’s responsibility. I am guilty of this – and I want that to change.

It was quickly decided that not only did I want to support Erica and her mother, but the ALS organization as well. I had such a wonderful time. Chills covered my body from more reasons than just the cool weather. I got chills listening to Erica tell her personal story so passionately in front of the group of motivated supporters. I got chills staring at her mother in admiration, knowing that she has overcome significant odds in surviving the average expectancy of 2-5 years from the time of her ALS diagnosis. I got chills watching her high school sweetheart, and incredible husband, lovingly place the hair from her face behind her ear before pictures. I got chills thinking about the years she has survived to watch her children grow and be able to witness amazing accomplishments they have achieved. And I got chills thinking about how this devastating disease can strike anyone, at anytime.

I don’t want to wait on helping others until something strikes my life personally. I want to get involved now. Getting involved doesn’t mean that you have to be the president of the cause, maybe getting involved is just becoming more aware of an issue and understanding it better. Don’t underestimate how you can make a difference, get involved!

Ashley Voigt

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