GREENSBORO, N.C.-- Imagine slowly losing your ability to walk, talk and feed yourself all while your mind remains intact. That's what ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, does to those diagnosed with it. Darrell Haymore is one of those people facing that fight, but luckily he's not alone.
His wife, Denya, left her job with Cone Health to take care of her husband full-time. Ten years ago, the couple vowed to love each other forever.
"He is a remarkable man," Denya said. "He was so kind and that is what I was just overwhelmed with. So intelligent, made me laugh and kind. And he still makes me laugh so much today."
Denya said she never leaves her husband's side and helps him with all of his physical needs.
"It has been a privilege, not a chore, but a privilege to take care of my husband with such debilitating circumstances."
In 2012, ALS robbed Darrell of nearly all of his physical abilities. It started with weakness in his legs, then his hips. Shortly after, he could no longer walk. He also has to use a machine to help him breathe. His lungs are perfectly fine, but his diaphragm no longer works correctly. There is no cure for ALS.
"It's like being stuck inside a tight sleeping bag," Darrell said.
A former pharmacist for Cone Health, Darrell was used to helping others get better. Now, his wife is doing that for him.
"She's doing a fantastic job," he said.
The positive pair clings to their faith during this season of adversity.
"Just the grace of the Lord," Darrell said about how he deals with the disease.
"We're very fortunate that we have a very strong faith and that God had been working in our hearts and preparing us for a difficult time. We didn't know what that would be, certainly we learned, and that faith and trust in the Lord has truly sustained Darrell and I through this entire journey," Denya said.
They also rejoice in the brisk bucket bringing awareness to ALS and the diseases' victims. The phrase #icebucketchallenge is trending across the country as more and more people take the challenge and donate to ALS. The ALS Association said as of Tuesday, people have donated $22.9 million between June 29 and August 19. Last year during that time, the organization only saw $1.9 million donated.
"It has been awesome to sit in your home every day and deal with this disease and yet to see the national attention for something that has never received such attention as this, it is extremely awesome," Denya said.
"I would like to thank everyone for their donations. Then hopefully we can find a cure," Darrell said.
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