I am Selena Castro
a family member of someone we've lost to ALS
Our story, like many, has no known cause.
My dad was diagnosed with ALS in August 2018. I didn’t know exactly what it meant when my mom told me, but after looking it up and seeing the words, ‘always fatal,’ I of course broke down.
My dad was one of eight children, born to immigrants who were field workers in the central coast valley of California. I always thought it was sad that having lived twenty minutes away from the ocean, he had never seen it until his teenage years. My dad worked in the strawberry fields in his high school days to help earn money for the family. He used to tell me stories of him and the others running away from the planes that would come down to spray the fields with pesticides. Sometimes I wonder, was it this that caused his ALS? The direct contact with poisonous chemicals?
Unfortunately, I’ll never know. Our story, like many, has no known cause. I moved back in with my parents to help care for him during his last five months. My dad passed away in early October of 2019. I miss him terribly. Two years have passed and it still doesn’t seem real; and I know in my heart it is something I’ll never be able to get over or understand.