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Becca Pace

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Dad and me at Pitt Graduation 2009

Greg Telthorster was a beloved artist, teacher, father, and friend. He was truly my inspiration.

Freshman year in college over Thanksgiving Break is when I learned that my father had been diagnosed with ALS. And as hard as the diagnosis was to take, it was easy to go back to school five hours away and pretend it wasn't really happening. For four years I was removed from the situation, returning home each summer to see things get slightly less easy for my dad to do. He could no longer help me carry my suitcase upstairs like he used to, was no longer the handyman around the house, and soon he needed to use a manual wheelchair to travel more than a short distance.

None of this struck me as hard as it did when I moved home after graduating and I finally began to see the daily struggles my dad was going through. We suddenly had a full house with caregivers and friends coming over to stretch my father's muscles to help him stay limber, a second-story elevator lift had been installed in my foyer, and dinner for dad was becoming more of a chore than an enjoyable family tradition. I knew I needed to do something to help. I worked as a caregiver for my father for a few months before joining The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter as their Events Specialist. It was going to be my way of giving back, of using my particular skill set to do as much good as I could for the organization that gave so much strength and support for my family.

I was fortunate enough to work for 6 years at both the Greater Philadelphia Chapter and the Oregon and SW Washington Chapter, learning and growing and helping to raise much needed funds for care services and research. Dad's condition worsened, but nothing killed his spirit. We were blessed with a support system of friends, family, neighbors, colleagues - truly like no other. And for that we were so lucky.

In January 2015, on a snowfallen bluebird day in Doylestown, PA, Dad's battle with ALS ended. For 9 years, he had been a rock, a fighter, and had an amazing spirit of never giving up. He faced adversity with the most heartwarming smile and sick dad jokes. He beat most odds. He lived an incredible, meaningful life worth living. We miss him terribly.

In honor of the Legs 4 Greg 10th and final year riding in the ALS Express, I will be virtually riding and raising funds to support patient services for families living with ALS and research to find a cure. No family should ever have to face what my family went through. Please consider a donation of any denomination to help Legs 4 Greg reach our team goal.
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