Posted by Charles Rehberg on Nov 26, 2018
North Notes
Spokane North Rotary Club Bulletin
November 19, 2018
Happy Thanksgiving!!
Rotary calendar (please mark YOUR calendar):
            Nov. 26:  No meeting.  The “Rotary Serves” event for the month was the Nov. 17 “Tom’s Turkey Drive” (see below).
            Dec. 3:  Club Christmas lunch at Nectar, 120 Stevens (Main and Stevens), in the historic 1889 Building. A group from Ridgeview Elementary will sing, thanks to Melinda Keberle, club president-elect and Ridgeview Principal. Past-president Chad Haverkamp is coordinating the guest list and the event.
            Dec. 10:  Rotary Connect gathering, begins at 4:30 p.m. at the Barrister Tasting Room, 203 N. Washington.
            Dec. 17:  Lunch meeting at Nectar in Kendall Yards; speaker to be announced. Please bring all “40 for $40” gift tags for distribution to Holmes Elementary.  Gifts should be wrapped, with a tag attached to each package with the child’s name and letter designation for the family. Treasurer Sandy Fink is coordinating the gift program.
            Dec. 24 and Dec. 31:  No meetings during the holidays. See you Jan. 7.
            Welcome: Spokane Valley Sunrise Rotary Club President Dave Lindstrand visited the Nov. 19 meeting.  Dave said his club has 21 members.
No errors, no fowl, Tom’s drive a big hit
            Let’s talk turkey.
            Some 17 members and family friends joined the hundreds of volunteers for Second Harvest Food Bank and “Tom’s Turkey Drive.”  Our club’s participation was the monthly Rotary Serves event.
            About 11,000 needy families receive Thanksgiving meals through area Rosauer’s stores and various distributors.
            Donations of $20 for each family meal were raised Nov. 16-17.  For our club, a first with this event, 12 club members and friends worked the chilly 8-10 a.m. at Rosauer’s on 29th Ave. including Lenore and Bob Romney, Dave and Robin Hayward, Melinda and Landon Keberle, John and Catherine Mailliard, Ron & Melody Noble, and Jodi and Spencer Harland.  Another six members, Steve Bergman, Nancy Hanson, Chuck Rehberg, Art Rudd, Tim Zacharias, and Sandy Fink worked the 9:45-Noon shift at the North Side Rosauer’s at the “Y.”
            KREM-TV weathercaster Tom Sherry, the face of the event, arrived at the North Side store about 11:30 a.m.  Sherry said “Tom’s Turkey Drive” is now in its 19th year.  The cost then was $15 a meal.  He said a potato farmer from Quincy donated his produce, as do other assorted items from apple-growers to a dairy, which provides milk and butter.
When asked if Tom can use the huge 15 wild turkeys that roam one member’s back yard, Sherry demurred.
Though North Side members avoided the turkey outfits, at the South Side store, Landon Keberle, son of Melinda, and Bob Romney, spouse of Lenore, took turns wearing the turkey suit.
By early reports, the well-organized event moved smoothly.
Making homes for ALS victims
            Three letters no one wants to hear are “ALS.”
            Though often referred to as “Lou Gehrig Disease,” Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis was first diagnosed in the 1800s.  It is a motor neuron disease in which severe muscle weakness restricts almost all mobility.
            Simply put, said Matt and Theresa Wild, with ALS “the neurons keep the brain from talking to one’s muscles.”
            The Wilds, of Coeur d’Alene, visited the club November 19 to discuss their foundation and efforts to build smart homes for ALS victims and their families and care-givers.
            “The depressing part,” Theresa said, “is how fast ALS progresses.”  Average life span of the disease, she said, is just 2 to 5 years.
            Some 5,600 people a year are diagnosed with ALS, she said, and there are at least 50 persons with ALS in the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area.
            Matt said late in 2014 he was having trouble buttoning a shirt or clothing himself.  His primary doctor and then staff at Rockwood confirmed through testing that he had ALS.
            Matt was a Marine, and he said the disease often manifests itself in soldiers.  Matt was a Marine from 1992 to 1996. Also at risk are professional football players, like Spokanite Steve Gleason of the New Orleans Saints and Tim Greene, a linebacker from the Atlanta Falcons.  Greene was featured Nov. 18 on “60 Minutes.”
            While most cognizant brain-power sustains – Greene, also an author, has written more than 30 books – the muscle power fails.  Greene now uses his eyes to write with a computer.
            Matt said with their ALS homes eye contact “can open the front door,” among many other uses.
            But without muscle tone, ALS victims can’t do work in the kitchen.  A fall without help could be fatal, he said, because he could not get up on his own. 
            Because ALS victims cannot expel enough gases, in a crisis situation oxygen could not be administered by EMTs or others without special training, Matt and Theresa said.  The computer gear can help monitor the patients and their progress, or lack of progress in each case.
            One ALS smart home has been developed in Coeur d’Alene and a second is under way at a modular or pre-fab home in East Spokane.  Part of the plan is to accommodate care-givers who can stay with the victims.
            Theresa and Matt said the enormous cost of equipping smart homes required a large team of construction workers and suppliers to help defray the costs.
            Likewise, care for ALS victims easily reaches up to $300,000 a year.  For Matt, fortunately, the Veterans Administration covers military costs for those with ALS.  For those in the ALS smart homes, he said, “the cost (of housing) is free.”
            Cures and treatment for ALS victims are slow.  “Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s are neuron problems, but they are 20 to 30 years ahead of ALS,” Theresa said.  She added that male athletes and the military are often cited, but ALS victims also include women and children.
            Matt’s Place Foundation runs on donations and events including a March Pub Crawl, a July golf classic and a fall festival.
            At this point, Matt’s voice is strong and his determination is evident.  But he can only advance a weakened left hand to shake, and he knows that unless a stem-cell miracle or some other breakthrough is made, he cherishes every day.
            Who was Lou?
            Lou Gehrig, famous New York Yankee first baseman, was born Heinrich Ludwig Gehrig in Manhattan.  He weighed 14 pounds at his birth, June 19, 1903.
            After starring at Columbia in New York, Lou joined the Yankees in 1923 and played for 2,130 consecutive games, hitting 493 homers, with a record 23 grand slam home runs.
            In 1938 he was “tired” and sensed something was wrong.  In 1939 Gehrig lasted just 8 games, not finding enough muscle coordination to run to first base.
            After a moving tribute at Yankee Field, he said, “I was the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”  A Hall of Fame player, retired with the number “4”, Gehrig had died on June 2, 1941
at age 38.   
The bulletin producers:
            Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink
            Photos: Lenore Romney