Bill Montgomery grabbed my finger to demonstrate a point about ALS.
“The biggest symptom I feel is my lack of strength,” he said.
He squeezed my finger gently between two of his fingers and explained that everything he does is now done with two hands.
Five years ago the 73-year-old Williams Lake resident received his official diagnosis.
As his experience with the disease progresses he said he’s developed a definition of his own.
ALS has made his body like a fuel tank.
“Every day and night, 24 seven, the fuel runs lower and lower and there’s actually nothing I can do to slow it down and absolutely nothing we can do to refuel,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery was a volunteer firefighter for 27 years in Williams Lake, finishing up in 1997.
On Tuesday evening he was back at the fire hall to participate in an ALS Challenge and encourage the department to join him.
“I’d like to dedicate this challenge to all who have fallen to ALS, especially Rod Taylor, Hugh Campbell and Brian Nelson just to mention a few,” he said.
He also challenged his golf buddies who are on a September tour of the Okanagan to take up the challenge and thanked his friends who have done the challenge in his name.
“Hopefully we can get the scientists to find a cure or something that will help slow down or stop ALS,” he said.
Firefighter Dereck Sulentich presented Montomery with a cheque and cash in the amount of $1020 raised by the fire hall and challenged the 100 Mile House, Wildwood, Quesnel and all fire departments in B.C. to take the ALS challenge.
Instead of a bucket of ice, members subjected themselves to a good 60 second-dousing from the ladder truck’s fire hose.
See the Williams Lake Tribune’s Facebook page for video and photographic coverage of the event.