What Life is All About

1 decade 8 months 3 weeks ago Friday, August 31 2007 Aug 31, 2007 Friday, August 31, 2007 2:52:46 AM CDT August 31, 2007 in News
"When you come over, you never know what you're going to find in her house," said Becky's father, Charles Mallicoat. "Anybody that needs help - she's there for him. Whether she knows them or not."

The house is full.

Sometimes, what was supposed to be a few nights of babysitting turned into an adoption.

"She's taken care of me ever since I was 6 months," said Becky's son Brandon Mallicoat.

She is everyone's mother, a caretaker and a helper. But now she is the one needing help.

"I've always tried to help other people, and now, I can't," Becky Bunch said.

A year ago in June, the first warning signs came - slurred words.

"She went in for an earache, and her doctor said "why are you talking funny?'" said Becky's daughter Mary Bunch.

Doctors diagnosed Becky with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, two weeks before Christmas.

"This disease takes away your ability to function," Charles said.

Lou Gehrig's disease is a form of muscular dystrophy that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

In the late stages of this disease, patients may become totally paralyzed.

"It's frustrating sometimes knowing there's nothing you can do, and there's never going to be anything you can do," Mary said. "My appearance is fine, but I open my mouth ... That's different."

But her speech hasn't stopped her from talking, even to Governor Blunt.

"In May, MDA asked me to go for the awareness of ALS," Mary said. "He wrote a proclamation naming May ALS awareness month."

So far, her voice is the toughest physical effect of this disease, but the emotional effects are worse.

Becky's kids now take care of her the way she's always taken care of them.

"I just kind of do it," Mary said. "I don't look at it like I'm taking over, it's just something I have to do."

It's a constant worry, especially for Brandon during the school day.

"I think is she alright," Brandon said.

And their worst fear is what will happen in the future.

"I guess that once she's gone everything will be on me," Mary said. "There won't be no Mom to go to."

"Whenever she dies, i won't have anybody to talk to," Brandon said.

"You think about her leaving us, but she can't," Brandon said. "She'll never leave us, that's the hardest part."

Out of the darkest times come the clearest moments.

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