A Sad Annual Assignment

Labor Day falls on September 1st this year - can you believe it? For many of us around here, that means the Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon is only about two weeks away. Every year, we profile many of the children, adults and families affected by MD as part of the telethon. We also take time to honor those who've lost their battle. Friday, I spent part of my afternoon working on one of those memorials - for Adam Sahlfeld, who was just 23-years old when he passed away last November. I caught up with one of his sisters and two of his cousins at MDA camp back in June. We shared laughter and tears remembering his personality and his perseverance. Reliving the conversations brought the memories back again. As his sister Ashley said, "I wish I had his courage. He accepted what he was given." If only we all could do the same. Adam was there when I did my very first telethon - and was there every year since, until last year, when illness prevented him from coming. John White was there last year. John battled ALS for nearly 15 years before losing his battle in June. While Adam represents the children, John reminds us adults, too, are struck down in their prime. This year, neither will be there. They'll be only in our hearts. Which, come to think of it, isn't all bad. As long as they're in our hearts, they'll never be gone. I shed a few tears remembering them Friday, and I know I'll shed more tears this Labor Day - it's not fair a cure didn't come in time for Adam and John and countless others. But they also taught me to persevere in the fight to make sure that cure is found. Adam and John will be in my heart this Labor Day as the fight goes on.
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