EATON — Family and friends are rallying around a local man fighting Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.)
Randy Flory, once known as an avid motorcycle rider and Preble County farmer, has been battling ALS since 2008. According to his sister, Tanya Henning, at first, he didn’t want to admit it, or accept it. He didn’t want to share the news with anyone.
“Eventually, he and his wife Heidi told their two daughters, Hayley and Sydney, the rest of our family, and his friends,” Henning said in a letter.
“Randy has always been a strong man, determined, with a stubborn streak,” Henning continued. “And the hardest-working person I know. I believe it is these characteristics that have kept him fighting the last eight years.”
“Although he would never admit it, I know that he is scared, depressed and sometimes angry as he continues the daily struggle to cope with ALS,” Henning wrote. “As time passes, his muscles have weakened. He has lost most of his ability to use his hands and arms. He can still walk short distances, but is unstable and often needs help.”
Although Flory can still eat some solid foods, he is in the process of getting a feeding tube, according to Henning, who said he will soon be confined to a wheel chair and requires 24-hour care.
“Randy’s main wish as his disease progresses is to be able to stay in his home as long as possible,” Henning wrote. “My sisters and his friend Joe have been providing nearly 24-hour in-home care, which has been incredibly stressful on them. Randy’s sources of income are limited and not sufficient to cover his current and future expenses. He does not want to be a burden on anyone.”
To help raise funds to lessen the burden, a Rally for Randy has been planned for Saturday, Oct. 8, from 6-10 p.m., at the Old Schoolhouse Winery, 152 Ohio 726, in Eaton.
A $20 donation includes eight wine tastings and a souvenir glass. There will be a silent auction, raffles, live music by Ciera Flory, and food available from Bear Paw Concessions.
Raffles include a choice of three trips, including a trip to the 51st annual Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee in November, and a San Francisco and Napa wine adventure, and a 55-inch smart television.
The silent auction includes Ohio State Buckeye tickets, a cornhole game, and more.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.