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Austin, Texas
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These are the People We Help

Husbands, wives, children, friends - all touched by the effects of ALS

All of our efforts are focused on collecting and distributing the necessary help and resources to Central Texas families facing ALS. Our most important measure of success is what families we serve have to say about The Busby Foundation. Below are stories from families that shed some light on the scope of assistance that we can provide.

Words of Gratitude

Below are words of gratitude from individuals and families who have received aid from The Busby Foundation.We hope that you find what they have to say
as inspiring as we do and that you will consider supporting The Busby Foundation. Together we can do great work.

Kelsey A.

When Aristotle wrote “suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness,” his words resonated the most sincere of truths. There is nothing more humbling than being subject to or witness of the struggle between man and himself, most notably in the context of disease. Illness is a war fought on all fronts, attacking physically, mentally, and breaching past the body to assault every observer who seeks to aid in the fight but is forced to remain audience to the vicious reality of a world hindered by suppressing infirmity. My experience on the frontlines of this lethal combat has shaped and refined my ideals and priorities in life but even greater, it has prodded my realization that while disease is currently the most destructive of forces, there is absolutely no reason or excuse for it remaining so.

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My father’s diagnosis with ALS in July felt like an end-all to every scant sliver of hope my family had held in the months of testing and inquiry leading up to this affirmation of our fears. Within a year, my father’s hands had become virtually immobile and he has lost the ability to walk. He was forced to quit his job when driving became a hazard and has since required assistance to perform even the most basic of tasks such as eating and pulling on a pair of pants. Watching this rapid progression, I have seen a strong, independent man become subject to an unseen enemy that has left him fragile and dependent on my family and I.

Despite his physical limitations, I believe my father has made it his personal goal to make a positive experience out of every moment possible. Although he is unable to take a walk or use the restroom by himself, the pure determination that he emits is an inspiration to everyone he encounters and his quiet perseverance is something I strive to achieve. As proud as I am of my dad’s resilience, we are all well aware of the brevity of his days. I have realized from this that the diagnosis did not desolate me as I would have expected from myself; instead it made me stronger and more aware of the suffering and pain disease brings not only to the patient but to an entire community of people connected to them.

Due to my father’s illness, he has been unable to work for over a year. Because he requires constant care, my mother is also unable to work and instead serves selflessly as his primary caregiver. The income my father made before he became sick has been reduced by 40% and we have completely lost the income of my mother. Within the two year span since my father’s diagnosis, healthcare costs have increased dramatically and the majority of our savings have been depleted to pay for such expenditures. As a result, there is very little money remaining to pay for my sister and I’s college education. I have been saving money from two summer jobs for the best 3 years, but due to my family’s financial situation, I have become dependent on outside scholarship to fund my education.

It is my goal to study medicine and aid in the search for cures so that people battling disease will have a true chance of victory. My father’s immense willpower in his struggles inspires me daily to look past the losses of today and work towards a day when illness is conquered. These perpetual battles for life have continued long enough and my father’s fight has allowed me to recognize that a future plagued by disease is a future without advancement. 

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Charles T.

I would like to take the time to thank you for helping me and my family work through paying for my education. Times have certainly been difficult for us, but all of the people that help us to get through our struggle shows us just how good God is. After my mother was diagnosed and eventually retired from her work as an elementary school librarian, we all knew that funding would be a problem in the future for my sister and myself. Education was a passion of my mother. She would often encourage her coworkers to go back to college and improve their degrees to get jobs that they could truly love, and she followed her own advice, getting a master’s degree to become a librarian in the first place.

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Unsurprisingly, the one thing that my mom was dead set on was seeing her children off to college, and to see them begin to make lives for themselves. While college is certainly difficult for both my sister and myself as both of us chose difficult majors in which to specialize, we have both thrived in the first few years of our college experience, fueled by our desire to see our mother’s wish through to the end. Your assistance has brought my family closer to that goal, so once again, thank you for helping my family.

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Jeff D.

I am so thankful for The Busby Foundation and Woodward Trust giving my son Thomas the opportunity to apply and receive money for his upcoming year at college. I also appreciate the times you personally spent with me on the phone a few months ago to let me know how the Foundation works and when to apply. For me it was special to receive the funding from an ALS related foundation after our seven year intense struggle. Difficult to explain but hope you understand. The Busby Foundation helped my wife with some supplies and a specific recliner and now my son is also benefiting.  A very heartfelt thank you.

Marissa H.

My family and I have faced much adversity in the past couple of years. The very difficult times started two weeks after my high school graduation when my father was diagnosed with ALS. As a senior in high school, you imagine great life will be outside of the little world you’ve always known. I never imagined the life that was coming. Things have become harder and harder as his illness progressed. We have been told over and over by medical professionals that he was going to pass soon, so we were always in a state of being prepared for his death to be imminent. We moved into our newly remodeled house on December. Then, he went into hospice on Christmas Eve. I know the holidays will always be difficult because it is now tinged with reminders of this horrific illness.

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Just when I thought things couldn’t get any harder, I was diagnosed with two brain tumors in the middle of this past spring semester. That blow was even more difficult than learning of my father’s ALS diagnosis. I was suddenly faced with the reality that my life may be cut short too as even benign brain tumors can be deadly. Suddenly, all of the symptoms I have been having made sense. I can’t explain how hard struggling with my father’s illness, my diagnosis and being a full time student at the same time was. I thought about dropping out of school right after I was diagnosed, but I decided I was not a quitter. Somehow, I pulled off getting all “A” despite the turmoil in my personal life. Things have been very hard lately, but I feel blessed to be able to share my story and inspire others. I plan on continuing to fight through whatever life throws at me because success doesn’t come easy. I know my life has a purpose and I know I have so much potential to help others. 

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Maddi B.

The loss of your father, no matter how old you might be, will change your life forever. He is your protector; with him you always have a sense of security. You don’t ever really get over that loss, but you learn to live. I was four when dad was diagnosed, which was 16 years ago, therefore I don’t remember much. I was ten when he passed away, so the past ten years I have been lucky enough to be able to live a normal life. My mom gave my sister and I everything we needed and never gave us special treatment. I have learned to take the loss of my dad and turn it into something good. Because of ALS I look at the world differently now, I try and find the good no matter the circumstance.

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God didn’t put us here to sit around to mope and wallow in our misfortunes, but rather he guides us to rise in our pain and to stay steadfast through him. I have come to know many different types of people in the past 10 years, since dad’s death. The way I see people has completely changed in the past few years during the end of high school and coming into college. I believe this change is because through my dad’s death and my maturity, I’ve grown stronger in my faith and I know what grace is. All around we see people hurting, who need love and encouragement; I believe God uses our gifts, talents, and our trials or tribulations to help them. You weren’t given another day because it is what you needed, but rather God gave it to you because there is someone out there who needs you. We have become so selfish in our thoughts and I admit that this selfishness has overcome me many times. I would say “why me?” or “why did my dad have to get taken from me.” I’ve learned to turn that around and say “God, what is it that you need me to do? Who can I help? And what can I do to make things better?” Just as Lou Gehrig said in his famous speech, “I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for.” The opportunities God has given me since dad’s death have overwhelmed me with joy. Joining an amazing sorority where I have the chance to work with CASA, being at Tech and experiencing exactly what my dad wanted me to experience… the pride of being a red raider, and being in the number one agricultural communications department in the country. I am not sure where my degree will lead me, but my passion for advocating for agriculture will guide me to a job that I will love. This next year I will be applying for internships, including a communications internship at the local Food Bank.

I learned through my dad that even though he was suffering, his heart was always wanting to serve others. If my dad hadn’t gotten sick, I might still be serving myself rather than others. I know that in my future, with my degree, I will not only have the resources to support my family, but while I am supporting them I will have to opportunity to serve other. Every day I wake up and to tell myself to make it count. 

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Teresa B.

It takes special people to reach out and help someone, to touch a family by giving and caring. I will never forget what The Busby Foundation did for us. You never know when you may be in this type of situation. I never expected us to be. After decades of working, my husband in the corporate world and I in retail management, we started our own health and wellness business to educate people on being healthier. Three years into the business, my husband was diagnosed with ALS. Everything started going downhill for us. My husband was falling a lot which made it very difficult to work.

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We closed the office, and having been self-employed, we had no health Insurance. We lost a lot. The ALS Association that works together with the Busby Foundation got us hooked up with the right people. While we were informed that my husband would be able to draw disability and social security and that there was no holding period for people diagnosed with ALS, unfortunately it took ten months before disability kicked in leaving us with no income. We got behind in our house payments. We were so afraid of losing our home. Thank God for The Busby Foundation. They supported us, keeping us from going into foreclosure. Later we had another adjustment to face. My husband could no longer go up the stairs in our home, and we had no shower downstairs. The Busby Foundation came to our rescue again by providing a shower downstairs. I will always be grateful to The Busby Foundation. I encourage everyone to donate to The Busby Foundation.

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Paul B.

I thank God often that I was introduced to The Busby Foundation. Their compassion, generosity and understanding of the complexities of ALS are unmatched. To the crew that installed the roll-in shower and the fine people of The Busby Foundation, I thank you so much for installing a very nice and usable shower.

Kim B.

We cannot thank The Busby Foundation enough for the overhaul of our master bathroom. I thank you for visiting our home and making recommendations on how the bathroom should be designed to better suit my husband’s needs. Before the remodeling was done it was very difficult to get him into the bathroom safely. Since the door frame was not wide enough for him to drive his wheelchair into the bathroom I had to hold on to him as tight as I could and slowly walk with him to the tub and getting him into the shower was becoming more and more dangerous for the both of us. .

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We are so happy with the new design of the shower and it has worked out so well for us. Thank you ever so much for all that you have done for us. You and the Foundation will always be in our prayers.

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Becky G.

I would like to thank you for the support I received from The Busby Foundation. This is an awesome thing that you guys do for people. It was so nice not to be bothered with phone calls from a particular creditor at this point in my life and that wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the Foundation. God bless you and thank you so very much!!!

Bret W.

I am so impressed with the love, care and spirit of helping that I have experienced through The Busby Foundation. All of the people who helped my sister-in-law were so generous with their time, support and love. I could never thank all of those connected with The Busby Foundation enough.

Gerry G.

The Busby Foundation was able to help me get a much-needed enlarged bathroom with a roll-in shower. They were able to help me with a gift to help with the cost of the remodel as well as having an extensive list of volunteers willing to help with the actual remodel work. It would not have been possible for me to get this remodel without their help.

Kirk C.

Lindsey and I have been so wonderfully blessed by your organization! The generous gift from The Busby Foundation has given our family a chance to catch our breath during this difficult journey. For many months prior to my final diagnosis of having bulbar ALS with limb onset, I had been struggling with my speech. My slurring speech and the depressing reality of having this horrible disease contributed to me falling significantly behind on our bills to the point that we were fearful of losing our house. We did not know how we were going to make “ends meet” before disability kicked in.

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Thankfully The Busby Foundation stepped in and filled that gap! We cannot even count how many of our friends have recommended your foundation once they learned of my ALS diagnosis. Although we have never met anyone from the foundation, we know you are a gift from God and an answer to our prayers! Words cannot express your impact on our family! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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Tammie A.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for giving us a trip that we will never forget. I always dreamed of staying in the Disney park and The Busby Foundation made it come true. When we got to the hotel and were treated like royalty. It was “AMAZING” as Disney gave us VIP to so many events. We loved the fireworks and I can still see them in my mind! The look on my baby’s face when he saw Buzz Lightyear, the Character Dinning was awesome, Cookies and Milk were sent to our room the first night. We were so excited, we even said things like “Oh my God, the milk taste better here”.

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When we walked out in the balcony and could hear the music playing from the park while the view was so beautiful I didn’t want to ever leave. I would sit out in the balcony and watch the kids swim and watch everything through their eyes was more than words can say. I had no worries at all as all we had to do was enjoy ourselves which The Busby Foundation made possible for us. I hope more families will be blessed in the way that we were. What you gave is beyond anything I could imagine. We cannot thank you enough for giving us the most wonderful trip that we will “NEVER EVER FORGET” and we have you to thank for that. THANK YOU BUSBY FOUNDATION for everything that you did. If I were there I’d give you all a big hug and probably cry too. Thanks for the “MEMORIES”!!!

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Khan Family

The ALS community is awesome! I wish, of course, I never had the need to find that out, but we are taking the cards we’ve been dealt. It’s a rough game, but we’re really managing to stay happy. We aren’t looking past the bad, we have to deal with that stuff, too, can’t pretend that changes aren’t there. They are, and we acknowledge them, adjust to them, and find happiness and victory in some strange way. The bathing situation was awful and treacherous for my husband, but I fixed the plumbing myself, pulled off the shower door, put up a curtain rod, and it’s good to go.

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My husband had resisted, because all of his ALS bathing experiences had been stressful and tiring. I got him in there today and he was soooo happy. He was safe, he was independent, and it was a real SHOWER!!! Now I’m just trying to teach our family that adaptive equipment isn’t depressing, it’s adaptive, it’s liberating, it’s awesome and helpful and opens “doors” for him. I’m a little worried about keeping up with him when he gets his wheelchair. Watch out, world!!

ALS will not define our months, or even our days, and especially not our marriage. These things are defined by laughing, by persevering, by adjusting, and by creativity, and by overcoming things together…. that’s what marriage should be anyway. If we can stay happy together and on the sunny side thru ALS, we’ve got this battle called life by the horns!!! We don’t have time to worry about the future, we’re too busy having fun today!! I’m reading and studying ahead, so he’ll have the right equipment, and I’ll have the right knowledge and tips for others. I’m just going to help and care for and love this man so hard for all the days that God allows me the blessing of being next to him. Thanks so much for all you do, for dedicating your time and energy and mind to helping all of us LIVE with this disease. I love this quote by Lou Gehrig’s wife, Eleanor, “I would not have traded two minutes of the joy and the grief with that man for two decades of anything with another.

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Wayne and Marilyn S.

Wayne and I want to the sincerely thank the Foundation for the gift. This journey has been a struggle, however we have seen how people that do not know us have come forward with their time and resources to help Wayne and I both. It has truly touched our hearts! We sincerely appreciate your help.

Click on the circles above to read more stories.


Profiles in Courage

Nothing can better convey how the Foundation helps families with ALS than the families themselves.  Hear their stories.

Paul & Teresa B.

After decades of working, my husband in the corporate world and I in retail management, we started our own health and wellness business to educate people on being healthier. Three years into the business, my husband was diagnosed with ALS. You never know when you may be in this type of situation, and I never expected us to be. Everything started going downhill for us. My husband was falling a lot which made it very difficult to work. We closed the office, and having been self-employed, we had no health Insurance. We lost a lot.

The ALS Association that works together with The Busby Foundation got us hooked up with the right people. While we were informed that my husband would be able to draw disability and social security and that there was no holding period for people diagnosed with ALS, unfortunately it took ten months before disability kicked in leaving us with no income. We got behind in our house payments. We were so afraid of losing our home. Thank God for The Busby Foundation. They supported us, keeping us from going into foreclosure. Later we had another adjustment to face. My husband could no longer go up the stairs in our home, and we had no shower downstairs.

The Busby Foundation came to our rescue again by providing a shower downstairs. I will always be grateful to the Busby Foundation. I encourage everyone to donate to The Busby Foundation so they can continue to help others. I do not know what we would have done without them.

Karen M.

Kim W. shares the story of her sister Karen M.:

“Karen was the mother of 3 children and at the young age of 37 was diagnosed with ALS. A few years earlier, while working in Austin as a dental assistant, Karen began to have problems with her muscles that interfered with her ability to perform her job. She decided to quit her job to see if the infirmity would go away. Rather than getting better, she continued to get worse and then we received the shocking diagnosis that forever changed our family. She was married at the time and was staying at home in Georgetown with her two teenagers and 5- year-old. Over the course of the next few years her condition worsened until she could no longer perform the daily duties of a mother and a wife. Around this time, her husband, who was also the family’s primary caregiver, abandoned the situation.

Her only source of income, limited disability from Social Security, did not provide her with enough means to install the equipment that would have made her daily life more functional. Without it, the routine things we all take for granted, such as walking, dressing, and bathing were becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous to perform. Karen was a strong-willed, independent woman and fought the disease with everything she had. However, as her health declined she became very fearful of falling, and that one of us would drop her while moving her. She pushed herself as hard as she could every day to stay mobile, but sadly the day came when a wheelchair was the only option. She would sit in the kitchen and look at the backyard through the sliding glass doors, knowing that she could no longer go outside.

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Around this time, we met Don Busby, who had a son named Bo who also had ALS. Don mentioned that a local foundation had been created to not only help his son, but also others in the Central Texas area who suffered with this disease. Once they learned of Karen’s needs, volunteers from The Busby Foundation went to her home and installed a ramp at the front door and at the sliding glass back door. They remodeled the master bath, enlarging the shower stall so that she could take a private shower in her wheelchair. They also installed handrails for her to use in the restroom. Karen was so thankful for all the help; and for someone who loved her independence fiercely, the newly installed handrails were a real blessing. She could once again feel as though she was helping care for herself. Until the time of her death in April, Karen was able to stay in her home, which was a great desire of her heart. The Busby foundation helped in a huge way to make that possible. Words cannot convey the tremendous impact the Busby foundation made in her life. They were an answer to her prayers.” During the construction, the hot water heater went out. For about a week the family went without hot water as she could not afford to have it fixed or replaced. As soon as The Busby Foundation realized this, they quickly called a plumber and had a new hot water heater installed. There were so many nice things they did for her that I am sure I am leaving out some. As all this was happening around the holiday season, the volunteers from the Foundation went to HEB and bought her a huge supply of groceries and household items to get her through Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Karen was so thankful for all the help; and for someone who loved her independence fiercely, the newly installed handrails were a real blessing. She could once again feel as though she was helping care for herself. Until the time of her death in April, Karen was able to stay in her home, which was a great desire of her heart. The Busby Foundation helped in a huge way to make that possible. Words cannot convey the tremendous impact The Busby Foundation made in her life. They were an answer to her prayers.”

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Debbie S.

Kim W.

Give a Hand Today

It is easy to help The Busby Foundation continue its mission.  Help us comfort and support these families by donating today.