- By Laurel J. Kelly
In the Loop: Living with ALS — raising awareness and money for research
It's been more than two years since Ryan Tofteland was diagnosed with ALS, but he and his wife continue to look forward in hopes of helping others with the disease.
In a word, the video is heartbreaking. For 9 minutes and 20 seconds, Ryan and Martha Tofteland talk about it all. About how they first met and fell in love. About how they went on to marry and start a family. And about how an ALS diagnosis at Mayo Clinic in August 2016 is threatening to take it all away.
"We went on a Friday," Martha says in the video. "We had already had that whole next week scheduled with tests." But during that initial consultation, a neurologist told the couple he suspected Ryan had ALS, a fear that was confirmed later that day by phone as they drove home. "That's my most vivid memory," Martha says. "Because we had to, on our way home, pull over in Cannon Falls and just release."
Family members and friends were heartbroken after being told of Ryan’s diagnosis. But rather than accept defeat, they — like Ryan and Martha — have chosen to pool their collective energy into raising awareness and money for ALS research.
This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.