About this fundraiser

Dear family and friends, 

On November 2, 2023, Earl was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  Right now, he has muscle atrophy in his right hand and arm, rendering them almost completely dysfunctional. He also experiences - off and on - many other symptoms that come with this disease such as extreme fatigue, weakness of all muscles, severe cramps, unsteadiness on feet, and shortness of breath. With the passage of time, he will lose his ability to walk and even to speak. Finally, unless you can help us fight this, the ability to breathe; and the speed with which ALS progresses cannot be predicted.

Along with diagnosis came the warning – “There is no cure for ALS. You have 2 to 5 years to live, and they won’t be easy.” 

But as you know, Earl is a fighter and is not going to take this this lying down. 

 So we are launching this Give a Hand Campaign as we need your help to fight this gruesome disease. Of course, it is expensive to cover the all the copays of medications and the full costs of unconventional treatments he is taking, including 8 neuro-acupuncture sessions per month, 8 physical therapy sessions per month, protein infusions for the brain, and medicinal mushroom extracts that help the brain resist the immune system’s attacks. He is also taking over 15 supplements that could contribute to significantly slowing, or, with extreme luck, stopping this disease. If we can’t slow or stop this disease, Earl’s last few years won’t be pleasant to say the least. ALS is a disease that kills nerve cells that control muscle activity in your body. When the nerve cells are killed, your muscle function dies with it. 


 That’s why we are asking you to pitch in today with any amount you can afford. It all helps. We have a goal of raising $10,500 so we can cover all of these many expenses over the next five months, including new assistive technology as needed.

     This is what Earl wants to tell you directly:

“When the good doctor at the University of New Mexico Neurology Clinic said to me “You have ALS,” he confirmed my greatest fear. Hearing it straight from the doctor’s mouth was shocking. It made it real, with no escape. I guess I was hoping for a miracle of some kind but that didn’t come so I’m now literally in a fight for my life. I just have to give every waking minute to fighting this brutal disease. 

The next months are very critical to potentially slowing or stopping the ALS. I will throw everything I can at it, including everything mentioned by Karen, and I will apply to participate in a 12-month clinical trial of a new and promising drug. There is no guarantee of success, but if you all can help, I can make the best possible attempt to ward off the worst of this terrible and fatal disease. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

While we receive some assistance from the ALS Association of New Mexico, their financial support won’t cover many out-of-pocket needs, nor does our private insurance. We may receive some aid from the Veterans Administration, but we won’t know about that for 4 or 5 more months. But we cannot wait 4 or 5 more months to ramp up the fight against this disease! 

ALS doesn’t wait on the VA, so we can’t either. ALS is a progressive disease, and its rate of progression is totally unpredictable. It could ramp up at any time, so a 4 to 5 month wait for support from the VA is dangerous! In addition to all of the things listed above, we need to begin purchasing some assistive technology so he can perform daily activities including dressing, showering and driving his car, all of which have become increasingly difficult. Another item on the list is a portable oxygen concentrator, so we can push clean oxygen into his body and help the brain recover. Also, we will need to hire professional homecare services to be with him while I am at work. That is, unless we can dramatically slow or even stop the progression of this disease NOW, with your help. With heartfelt gratitude,

Karen Walker  (spouse/wife) 


Organized by

Earl James

Santa Fe, NM, USA