It began last year during the summer when Badger resident, Larry Rislov, noticed he was beginning to lose strength in his left arm.
“A couple of years prior I had rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder,” Rislov said. “This did feel a little different, but we were thinking it was probably the rotator cuff on my left shoulder that needed surgery.”
His wife Karla commented that they did a lot of walking…two miles each morning before going to work. “And then we began to wonder if something more was wrong – we noticed Larry’s shoes were beginning to make ‘slapping’ sounds as he walked.”
An appointment was scheduled with Dr. Garner, a specialist from Grand Forks who comes to Roseau. He recommended that Larry receive therapy treatments for six weeks. Gardner decided it was not a rotator cuff issue when he looked over the x-rays.
“I finally had to see two different neurologists,” Larry stated. “The last one (neurologist) I saw said he would send us to Rochester. I had to wait three months … it was the second week in January, 2016, when we got in. In a nutshell, I underwent testing all day Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and half a day Thursday. And then we went home.”
“The testing was so intense…we needed a break,” Karla remarked.
They returned the next Monday and Larry underwent more testing – all day Monday and Tuesday, and a half day on Wednesday. By that time it was suspected that Larry had ALS (also known as Lou Gehrigs disease).
“We need prayers and a miracle,” Karla said. “ALS is a disease that’s not well known. Unless you have a loved one or someone close to you who’s been diagnosed, you don’t know how devastating it is. Because of its rarity, there’s not a lot of funding and research that goes towards ALS. I think that’s why Larry is so open about this – because he wants more people to understand what this disease is.”
A pancake breakfast benefit and silent auction for Larry Rislov will be held at the Badger Community Center on Sunday, October 30, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. On the menu are pancakes hot off the grill with syrup, strawberries and ice cream, coffee, milk, and orange juice. The free will offering benefit is sponsored by the Greenbush-Badger Lions Club.
To see more of this story, read the October 26 edition of The Tribune in print or online.