Suffolk, Va. - Beth Prever has helped raise nearly $800,000 for ALS research with the JT Walk, purely because of her passion to help others. Now, in a strange twist of fate, she has been diagnosed with the rare, deadly and incurable disease.
“I just sobbed,” said Prever after learning of her diagnosis in two months ago. “I thought how can this be?”
Prever first began having speech issues last August. After eight months of tests and surgery, doctors discovered she had ALS in April.
“I`ve seen it firsthand,” she said, reflecting on many patients she has met through fundraising for the JT Walk with Towne Bank since 2009. “It`s a hideous disease.”
Prever was diagnoses with Bulbar ALS. It initially destroys motor neurons affecting speech. Prever knows it is hard to understand her when she speaks.
“In my head I think I can talk right, and then I’ll say something and it doesn`t come out,” she explained.
Prever said she currently has good use of her arms and legs, but doctors cannot say how long it could be before she loses mobility.
According to the ALS Association, 6,400 people in the U.S. are diagnoses with ALS each year. They estimate 20,000 Americans may be living with ALS, and 2 per 100,000 people could develop the disease. Most people die 5 years after diagnosis. There is no known cause or a cure.
“I don`t consider it a death sentence,” Prever said. “I`m choosing to live my life ALS.”
Dedicated to making memories, Prever has developed a Bucket List. She is already set to go skydiving in July, but here are the items on the list she hoping to complete:
- Meet Jon Bon Jovi during his Runaway Tour in New York City in July
- Take a girls’ trip to NYC to see the Broadway play “Hamilton” and “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon”
- Salmon fishing in Alaska
- White water rafting
- Visit Montana to see God’s country, buffalo, and fly fish
- Another girls’ trip to Napa Valley
“It’s making memories,” Prever said through tears.
Prever said her faith is strong, and she believes God will turn this around for her.
“I want to leave a legacy of faith in God, and loving others and being of service,” she said.
You can help support Prever's fight against ALS at this year's JT Walk by donating to Beth's Brigade. All of the funds will go into a trust for her long term health care needs. You can also sign up for her team.
Prever was also a dedicated member for the Crossfit community before her diagnosis. News 3 featured her 100-pound weight loss journey in October 2014.
Now, she is calling on the Crossfit gyms to join the Beth WOD (workout of the day) as a fundraiser for her long-term health care needs. It’s a $25 donation to participate. You can sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.