Our good friend and neighbor, Mike McHale, has written a moving account of his wife’s battle with ALS. ‘ ALS – Taming the Beast: Living, Really Living, with One of the Planet’s Most Dreaded Diseases’ is a compassionate and practical guide to life after a diagnosis. The indomitable and wonderful Jean McHale lived life on her own terms and that included dealing with ALS. Mike’s book radiates hope – not for a cure today but for quality of life during the time between diagnosis and inevitability.
Other books can educate us on the biology of ALS and the ongoing research for a cure, but Taming the Beast offers solutions for the everyday and once in a lifetime issues no one ever expects to face. Every patient’s experience is different and this is one of the main themes of this book. It offers not only insight to how the McHales decided to handle the diagnosis, but real ‘Takeaways’ that can be applied to almost any ALS or other chronically ill patient’s situation. Not everyone will want -or be able to – deal with a terminal diagnosis the way Jean and Mike did, but there is something for everyone in this book.
In addition to being informative and uplifting, ‘Taming the Beast’ is a down-to-earth good read that will open your eyes, broaden your outlook and even make you laugh. I dare anyone to read the accounts of Jean on her scooter and the cruise ship waiter without at least a big smile. Not possible.
There is a large rock just to the left of the McHales’ front porch. On it are these words: “I am not a bystander”. Jean McHale wasn’t a bystander and Mike, her love and co-conspirator in life, isn’t either. Read the book – you’ll be glad you did.
‘ ALS – Taming the Beast: Living, Really Living, with One of the Planet’s Most Dreaded Diseases’ is available on Amazon.com. All proceeds from the book go to Johns Hopkins ALS Clinic.