Sunday, April 1, 2012


            I grew up near Pittsburgh, PA, where, despite my suburban surroundings, I enjoyed hunting, fishing and trapping. Eventually I combined my passion for the outdoors with talent as a writer/photographer to mold a successful career on the edit staff of Sport Fishing magazine.
      Trouble knocked at my door in 2006. What began as easy-to-dismiss inconveniences like muscle cramps and twitches slowly grew into more serious motor difficulties that led to a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease). This incurable malady attacks the nerves that control voluntary muscle movement. As my degenerating neurons caused a progressive loss of muscle mass, strength, balance and coordination, I became dependent on a cane, then a walker, now a wheelchair.
Years of hunting and fishing throughout North and South America have given me many treasured memories, but I don’t want to live in the past. Thanks to unfailing support from my wife, Ligia (she’s like a cup of Brazilian coffee: very strong, yet very sweet), I wake up ready to embrace each day with a positive attitude. I have ALS; I deal with the many physical, mental and emotional challenges that ALS throws at me; but I’ve decided that I won’t suffer from ALS.
I refuse to let the hardships of ALS diminish my passion for the outdoors. By sharing my experiences as a disabled hunter, I hope to encourage other handicapped people to get out and enjoy the woods.