Sunday, October 30, 2016

ALS Non-Profit Creates ALS Monitoring App

At the 2015 Rocky Mountain Walk to Defeat ALS, I met techie and photographer, Steph Courdin. I've admired how Steph, despite his ALS diagnosis is always positive and is working hard to find ways to improve the lives of those with ALS and to work towards finding a cure.

Steph founded a non-profit, ALS Never Surrender, with the goal of creating a mobile app which would monitor patient movement leading to a better understanding of the disease. In the same category as Fitbit, patient monitoring apps are game-changers in the health and fitness technology domain.

The foundation is currently seeking support, both in donations to help fund the development of the application or finding patients who wish to get early access.

The foundation is also hosting Art4theCure, a live and online auction, on November 19th.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Move from Eden Prairie to Apple Valley and starting my Goodbyes

It's already October and that means I only have a few weeks left of my Minnesota adventure. I've been as busy as ever in the past couple of weeks. It turns out that the owner of the Big House in Eden Prairie came back from his contract unexpectedly early and so I had to say my first set of goodbyes. I really enjoyed the neighborhood, my cozy room, and the three young tenants, Jeannie, Javen, and Seth. They're about the same ages as my kids (also a girl and two boys) and so I've had a maternal fondness and admiration for these three since I arrived last April.

Jeannie, Javen, and Seth took me out to dinner last Monday to say 'Goodbye' and though I didn't want them to spend their hard-earned money, they insisted. I told them that one of the things I appreciated most about them is that despite the fact that we're a generation apart, they treat me as a friend. So often the Millennial crowd can treat those of us who are older as though we're invisible. But Jeannie, Javen, and Seth, always made me feel like they were happy to see me. I consider them the first of my Minnesota friends and I feel so lucky that I was able to share a home with them for 5 months.

Even luckier, is that my new BFF, Lisa had an extra room in her house in Apple Valley for me to move into for my final month in Minnesota. I just love living with Lisa. She has such a pretty home and the room she has for me is perfect! It's spacious and has a bathroom and living area that's decorated exactly to my taste...  And best of all, I get to live with the best friend I've made since coming to Minnesota! So while this unexpected move could have been a very expensive 4-week sterile hotel stay, instead it turned out to be an opportunity to enjoy the best kind of living experience ever... a beautiful home with a beautiful friend.

Lisa, Dennis, and Me at the Ren Fest last weekend
Lisa and I have been doing a lot together for the past few months -- She's introduced me to many of her friends and invited me along to many events and functions including the Aquatennial, a Polo Event, and a Wine Tasting Party, just to name a few. She's even going to be my Road Trip Buddy for my return trip home. I've met a lot of wonderful friends since coming out to Minnesota...more than I ever thought I would. But I didn't really expect to meet someone who would so be so generous with her time and even open up her home to me. 

Saying Goodbye to Brad - Amore in Uptown
Of course, the hard part about only living here for 6 months is having to say 'goodbye' to new friends. Besides Jeannie, Javan, and Seth, I also said goodbye to Brad last week. 

Brad is also someone who (I like to remind him) I beat at tennis, soon after I arrived. It was thanks to that win that I joined a tennis meetup which led to all kinds of friendships, including Lisa's. It's funny how one little event can change the course of your life. 

Brad is also relatively new to Minneapolis and shares my love of exploring new places and so we had fun checking out Minnehaha Falls and other sites and lakes earlier in the summer. When I mentioned I liked Disney musicals, Brad surprised me with tickets to the Lion King at the Orpheoum Theater... an amazing play and experience!

Yes, my time in Minnesota has been amazing... and I'll be leaving with lots of happy memories.