Saturday, February 13, 2010

Welcome to From Nightmares to Miracles– Surviving ALS and Other Overwhelming Challenges

My wife, Diane, and I have been taking walks together for years. We find it a wonderful way to take in the sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors, get some exercise, catch up on things, and just enjoy each others company. One beautiful spring day in April of 2000, Diane noticed that I was dragging the toes of my right foot during one of our walks. Over the next several weeks, I became increasingly conscious that the leg was feeling oddly sluggish during workouts, tennis and other activities. The thought that this could be the onset of symptoms for a fatal disease never entered my mind until two years later when a motor-neuron specialist revealed his tentative diagnosis after an initial exam and testing.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (aka ALS and Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is a disease of unknown origin that attacks the spinal cord and motor neurons, causing paralysis and death, usually through asphyxiation when the diaphragm can no longer function. There is no known medical cure, and little effective treatment. ALS takes the lives of 90% of it’s victims within 2-5 years. Of those in the remaining 10%, there are PALS (persons with ALS) who have been known to live 10 to 20 years or more. Stephen Hawking, the renowned physicist, is probably the most famous and longest living survivor. Dr. Hawking has been living with ALS for more than 40 years.

Why is it that so few live longer than five years? Are there any common factors among those that survive 10 years or longer? Unfortunately, there is no research to my knowledge that has pursued the answers to these questions. But I have some suspicions about the answers, based on what has worked for me.

Come this April, I will have been living with ALS for 10 years. During this time, I have explored an extensive array of non-traditional healing practices. The journey has taught me a great deal about ALS, myself, and handling adversity, and I want to share that knowledge. I have written a book called, From Nightmares to Miracles that documents my journey and what it has taught me. As a first time author, however, I am learning that getting published can be more of a challenge than writing the manuscript. So, while I am pursuing publication, I have started this blog to share what I have learned, with the added benefit that a blog allows me to continue my own learning through reader comments.

It is my hope that this blog will become a forum for sharing approaches to dealing and coping with overwhelming challenges. It is my hope that others can learn from my experience, and I from theirs. Your comments and stories are welcomed. Whether you are coping with an illness, a divorce, career derailment, death of a loved one, parenting crises, financial issues or other serious circumstances, this blog can be a place to share and explore what works to cope, survive and recover. Please help me make it a place where people can find hope, inspiration and ideas for dealing with their difficulties. Let’s create a space in which people can find ways to turn their nightmares into miracles.


  1. Good luck with the Blog, Joe. We look forward to reading it on a regular basis.

    Marc and Harlene

  2. I love you Dad. Yooouuu caaannn doooo iiiit!

  3. Has it been 10 years? Joe, you've been "blogging" all this time, and it's been a fascinating ride for all of us on your email list. You continue to amaze me with your positive approach. I feel like if anyone is going to figure out how to recover from this disease, it's you. I hope your book gets out there soon because you have learned so much on your journey that can help others facing doomsday diagnoses... and inspire anyone!


  4. Joe You are an inspiration to me in my daily life. Thanks Best of luck on your blog & book.

    JoAnn Ferraro

  5. How is the manuscript coming along? I would be happy to help out with any editorial advice!

  6. Joe, thanks so much for creating this site. I've only read your first two posts and i'm already hooked!

    I've been on a support group site for several years for social and health issues. although i appreciate the support i've found there and love the new friends i've made, i've often found the presiding tone to be negative.

    rather than embrace a role as a victim, powerless to make any change in our circumstances, i think it would be so much more helpful for them to do as you seem to have done all through this challenge. to try anything and everything, keep notes on what helps and what hurts, and give yourself so much more power over it in the process. thank you so much for the inspiration.

    scott martin

  7. My ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) symptoms started out with a "foot drop" on my left foot. From there my left leg lost all muscle tone and then the entire left leg muscles were gone. Also my fingers and thumbs "contract" at times. Left arm was losing muscle tone too.I was given medications to slow down the progress of the disease,i resorted to a wheelchair (Perbombil C300).This was till my husband's sister introduced my husband to a herbal clinic in Johannesburg who sell herbal medicines to cure all kind of diseases including ALS, we contacted the herbal clinic via their email and purchased the ALS herbal remedy, we received the herbal medicine via courier within 7 days and commenced usage as prescribed, its totally unexplainable how all the symptoms gradually dissapeared, my speech has greatly improved and am able to walk a distance now with no help, contact this herbal clinic via their email Or website

  8. With ALS,(amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) my first sign that something was wrong, was my slurred speech. And then the inability to eat without getting choked, strangled, and coughing. I didn't have health care I just thought it was a stroke, When it started to get worse I went to a neurologist. I was given medications like riluzole oral to slow down the progress of the disease, nothing was really working to help my condition. Finally i started on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis herbal formula i purchased from Health Herbal Clinic, i read alot of positive reviews from other patients who used the ALS herbal treatment. I used the herbal remedy for 7 weeks, its effects on ALS is amazing, all my symptoms gradually faded away, i feed very more freely by myself now! (Visit www. healthherbalclinic. net or email at Info@ healthherbalclinic. net) I recommend this ALS herbal formula for all ALS Patients.

    I was diagnosed of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in summer of 2012, my symptoms started out with a "foot drop" on my left foot, from there my left leg lost all muscle tone followed by slurred speech and inability to eat without getting choked, strangled, and coughing. My neurologist prescribed me some medications to help my symptoms but the medications did no good and their side effects were too severe. In 2015 i started on NewLife Herbal Clinic ALS Herbal formula treatment, i read alot of positive reviews on their success rate with the ALS Herbal treatment and i immediately started on the treatment. Just 11 weeks into the ALS Herbal formula treatment I had great improvements with my coordination, speech, breathing and muscle movements. I have basically gone stronger than i'd thought i could ever be again, visit NewLife Herbal Clinic official website or email The fatigue and general muscle weakness had also declined, this treatment is nothing less of a miracle!

    Julianne Regan

  10. I have been suffering from amyotrophic laterals sclerosis (ALS) disease for the last three years and had constant pain, especially in my knees. my first sign that something was wrong, was my slurred speech. And then the inability to eat without getting choked, strangled, and coughing.Throughout my three years ordeal, i was able to walk with assistance nothing was really working to help my condition.I went off the riluzole (with the doctor’s knowledge) and started on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis herbal formula i ordered from Health Herbal Clinic, Just 7 weeks into the Herbal formula treatment I had great improvements with my slurred speech, there is no case of constant pain and chest tightness since treatment, visit Health Herbal Clinic official website www. healthherbalclinic. net or email info@ healthherbalclinic. net. This treatment is incredible!

  11. As a sign of gratitude for how my husband was saved from ALS, i decided to reach out to those still suffering from this.
    My husband was diagnosed of ALS in 2013 and it was really tough and heartbreaking for me because he was my all and the symptoms were terrible, he always have trouble swallowing , and he always complain of Weakness of the body . we tried various therapies prescribed by our neurologist but none could cure him. I searched for a cure and i saw a testimony by someone who was cured and so many other with similar body problem, and he left the contact of the doctor who had the cure to ALS. I never imagined ALS has a natural cure not until i contacted him and he assured me my husband will be fine. I got the herbal medication he recommended and my husband used it and in one months he was fully okay even up till this moment he is so full of life. ALS has a cure and it is a herbal cure contact the doctor for more info on on how to get the medication. Thanks for reading my testimony.

  12. I was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) 15 months ago. At that time riluzole was prescribed. I found I could not tolerate it. did very little to help me. The medical team did even less. My decline was rapid and devastating. The psychological support from the medical centre was non-existent and if it were not for the sensitive care and attention of my primary physician, I would have died. There has been little if any progress in finding a cure or reliable treatment. My ALS got significantly worse and unbearable because of my difficulty catching breath. Last year, i started on a natural ALS Herbal therapy from Mbeki Herbal Clinic, i read a lot of positive reviews from patients who used the treatment and i immediately started on it. I had great relief with this herbal treatment. I am doing very much better now, no case of shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing,, my ALS condition is totally reversed. Visit Mbeki Herbal Clinic website ww w. mbekiherbalclinic. com. This treatment is a miracle!!