Richard Jenkins: Vero Beach man with ALS takes ice bucket challenge to raise awareness

He was diagnosed in 2012

VERO BEACH, Fla. - It's been nearly 2 years since Richard Jenkins was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Typing on a keyboard, a computer speaks for him.

"My wife Tami does everything for me 24/7," said Jenkins.

His strength is sapped, and the ability to eat is gone.

But there are important things that remain.

He has the word "love" tattooed on the knuckles of his left hand.

"He still has love. This disease can not take that from him," said Mary Tucker, Jenkins' mother-in-law.

Twin hospital beds have been pushed together in the Vero Beach room that has become Jenkins' world.

"It is a very hard life but we need to keep fighting back," said Jenkins.

A few weeks ago Richard's family rushed in when they heard him clapping.

Usually he rings a bell when he needs help.

But he didn't need help.  He had just seen his first Ice Bucket Challenge on television.

"I thought that is cold but I am going to do it," said Jenkins.

So with his trachea tube covered, he had a bucket dumped on him.

Jenkins is thankful for his doctor and hospice nurse and knows his days are numbered.

But he hopes this publicity will help lead to a cure.

On Monday, at least it led to a few laughs as Jenkins challenged me.

I was honored to accept.

Richard's ALS has nearly drained the family's finances.  If you'd like to help, you can call 772-501-5855 or email Tamihall68@yahoo.com


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