Thursday, October 18, 2012

I Remember Running: The Year I Got Everything I Wanted – And ALS by Darcy Wakefield

Darcy Wakefield was a healthy, athletic 33-year old English professor until she was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2003. Darcy was a runner. She mourned not being able to run, but didn't gave up on life. She embarked on her “fast-forward” life, a life in which she left her job, applied for disability, met and moved in with her true love, bought a house, had a child and planned her own funeral. Wow.  How can you not admire her strength, courage and determination to enjoy what life she had left? This memoir is beautifully written and will surely inspire others to live life to the fullest. I read this book in 2006, and Darcy's love of life continues to inspire me.

Darcy Gammon
Wakefield, 35
CAPE ELIZABETH - Darcy Gammon Wakefield, 35, died from ALS on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2005 at her home in Cape Elizabeth.
A native of Livermore, she attended local public schools until 1986; she graduated from the Waynflete School in Portland, in 1988. She then attended Bates College and Smith College, where she graduated in 1992. She earned her MA from SUNY/Buffalo in 1996, and her MFA from Emerson in 2003. From August 1999 until January 2004, she taught English at Southern Maine Community College, where she thoroughly enjoyed her students, colleagues, subject matter, and work setting.
Before getting ALS, she was extremely active, and loved walking, running, hiking, and swimming. Throughout her life, she was a feminist, and firmly supported women's right to choice. She also enjoyed hanging out with friends and family. Her interests included reading and writing, and her stories and essays appeared on Maine Public Radio and National Public Radio, and in numerous publications. She also wrote two books, I remember Running: The Year I Got Everything I Ever Wanted - and ALS and No Flies on Bill.
After getting ALS, she was extremely committed to raising ALS awareness. She hoped that awareness would lead to a cure so that no one else would have to die from this awful disease.
She is survived by her fabulous friends; her extended family; her maternal grandmother, Billie Gammon; her parents, John and Nancy Lee Wakefield; a sister, Betsy Wakefield and brother Jonathan Wakefield; a beloved son, Sam; and her true love and partner, Dr. Steve Stout.

Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on December 12, 2005