Neil Selinger died July 9, 2011. You probably have never heard of him. His name was mentioned in a TED talk, I was curious enough to search and found an article about him "Loss of Speech Evokes the Voice of a Writer". Apparently at age 54 he quit his job as a lawyer, did volunteer work, and signed up for a class at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College where he embraced his new voice as a writer. Shortly thereafter he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as Amhyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), is a devastating progressive neurodegenerative disease. There is no cure. Motor neurons die, muscular movement is lost. People with ALS eventually are unable to walk, use their hands/arms, speak or even swallow food. The disease does not affect the brain. What I found amazing was how Mr. Selinger, in the face of such incredible challenges, was able to find a new path. The frailty of his body did not crush his spirit, but instead somehow seemed to set it free.
“As my muscles weakened, my writing became stronger. As I slowly lost my speech, I gained my voice. As I diminished, I grew. As I lost so much, I finally started to find myself.”
I have a lot to learn.