I am Tim Lowrey
living with ALS
As my body loses strength and abilities, there is acceptance of what is lost. And yet - at the same time - my mind is open to the possibilities that come with finding a new way to live. We laugh and cry, yet we adjust our lives to the challenges ALS brings us.
My name is Timothy Lowrey. I’m 54 years old and my wife/best friend Emily and I have been married 16 years. Until March of 2020, I was a pharmacist for Wegmans, a grocery chain in Buffalo, NY. I loved working there and helping people. I was also very active outside of work and enjoyed so many hobbies: woodworking, traveling, renovating old houses, kayaking, cooking, running… life was good.
But then my symptoms started… with a loss of dexterity and strength in my hands. I thought it was due to 30 years of opening and closing child proof caps and/or overuse in my hobbies but about 10 months after eliminating some neurological diseases that were scary in their own right, I was diagnosed with ALS in October of 2018.
About a month after I was diagnosed with ALS, this quote from holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl appeared in my daily readings and meditation:
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” -Viktor Frankl
I knew I would have to decide what attitude I wanted to bring to my diagnosis. For years I have read and worked on my spiritual well-being and mental health. As my body loses strength and abilities, there is acceptance of what is lost. And yet – at the same time – my mind is open to the possibilities that come with finding a new way to live. We laugh and cry, yet we adjust our lives to the challenges ALS brings us.
I loved being a pharmacist, helping others manage living with the various diseases that afflicted them. After no longer being able to physically perform as a pharmacist, I knew I needed to fill that void somehow. I AM ALS has helped. Volunteering for I AM ALS on the Clinical Trials Team and Community Outreach Team has allowed me to direct my passion for healthcare into advocacy. This adjustment is helpful in maintaining my positive mental health and I’ve met some wonderful new friends from the ALS community.
Adjusting to the ever changing challenges of living with ALS is daunting – it has its peaks and valleys – but I feel comfort and peace knowing Emily is by my side.