Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The grace & guts of Diane Proud

Diane Proud is gorgeous. She is lean and tan, and has big, white, beautiful teeth (yes, I always notice teeth). She is a world-class triathlete who coaches at Cooper Aerobics Center. She's not my coach, but after spending an hour with her -- just talking, mind you -- I felt inspired to do better.

I am honored to have met her. But the reason I did makes our conversation bittersweet: Diane has ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. I met her so I could write about her battle.

Read more about Diane by clicking here.

The irony of her diagnosis is heartbreaking: Here is a woman who has taken care of herself her entire life. At age 50 or so, she turned fitness into her career. Yet she is battling a disease that will take away her ability to run, to swim, to do just about everything.

She smiled a lot as we talked, that beautiful, big-toothed smile. She reached for the napkins on an adjacent table, too, and wiped her eyes at the thought of what awaits her. Her amazing attitude, though, trumps everything. I hope I captured that in the column I wrote about her.

Want to help Diane and her fight against ALS? Then sign up for this Oct. 10 race in her honor. She plans to be on that course, too. Walking? Running? She's not sure; she just knows she'll be there

The race is called Run Proud for Dessert. She'd love to see you there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this inspirational article. My mom, Yvonne Murray, has been dx with ALS. This disease is beyond human comprehension. At the time of her dx, her sister was dx with breast cancer for the second time, and has just had a double mastectomy. Together their fighting spirit and upbeat personalities are waging war on these two heartbreaking enemies "ALS" and "Cancer" They are both trying to live life to the best of their ability, while begrudgingly dragging their illnesses behind them. They both ran (Yvonne in her chair - rode) the recent ALS marathon in Sarasota. Jenny also runs the breast cancer 3 mile race every year. Your article has added another heroine to my list!