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“Today is a gift and that’s why they call it the present”

Larry and Karla Rislov (photo by Mavis Gonshorowski)

Larry and Karla Rislov (photo by Mavis Gonshorowski)

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.

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