I am Rioey Solomon
a friend of someone we've lost to ALS
I watched her persevere through the hardest of challenges all while being an incredible mom, an amazing teacher, and a truly life changing mentor to my pre-teen self.
I’m not sure if it’s my place to share this story but I want to raise awareness.
My 6th grade teacher was diagnosed with ALS when she was around 35 years old. She found out about a month later that she was pregnant with her incredible, now 8 year old daughter. 3 years later, she was miraculously still alive, and even more miraculously, still teaching middle school math. That was when I entered sixth grade and she changed my life.
I watched her persevere through the hardest of challenges all while being an incredible mom, an amazing teacher, and a truly life changing mentor to my pre-teen self. She passed away when I was 14, just starting high school, after 6+ years battling ALS and 3 years of friendship with myself. I consider myself so incredibly lucky that I got to be a part of her story even for 3 years.
I will never forget her unwavering kindness and selflessness and her outstanding strength. It is almost 3 years since she passed, the same amount of time that I knew her. I unfortunately haven’t spoken to her family since she passed but I want to do something to help what happened to her and her family never happen to anyone else, especially someone as amazing as her. It is always the most undeserving who are struck with the worst fates. I am only a senior in high school, but I want to help, especially next year when I get to college.
I don’t know how long I will be able to use my hands or how long I will be able to talk. I don’t know when my husband will lose his wife. I don’t know when my children will lose their mother.