Meet Legacy Society Member Carol Booth
Even at age 79, E.G. Booth was a fountain of energy. Many days, he swam a half-mile in the pool at a local Iowa college. He played trombone in three bands, volunteered for several charities and mowed lawns at his family's farm.
But in April 2003, E.G.'s energy was waning. His back and hip hurt, and his trombone case suddenly seemed too heavy. As the summer progressed, he was getting stiffer and weaker.
In November, after 25 doctor visits, a neurologist in Iowa City finally gave E.G. and his wife, Carol, a definitive diagnosis: ALS. Although his breathing was declining, E.G. still kept up many of his activities.
"He never complained", says Carol, who recalls that E.G. received very helpful information from the medical staff at The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics about what to expect as the disease progressed. On Jan. 21, 2004-just two months after his diagnosis-he died suddenly while watching TV at home with Carol.
"There was no warning whatsoever," Carol recalls. "It was startling to have it be over so fast."
Shortly after his death, Carol received a letter from Jason Lee, the executive director of The ALS Association's Iowa Chapter. Impressed with ALS's work to find a cure for ALS and support patients and families, she began making donations to the chapter. Recently, with the full support of her children, she decided to make an even bigger difference by naming The ALS Association as a beneficiary in her will.
"In addition to working on the science of ALS, The ALS Association genuinely cares about the people and families affected by this disease," she explains. "That means a great deal to me."
Originally from Philadelphia, Carol met E.G. while working as a horseback riding instructor at a summer camp in Connecticut, where E.G. was the athletic director. By the end of the summer, they were engaged. The couple settled in Grinnell, Iowa, where E.G. worked as a professor and track coach at Grinnell College. They later moved to Indianola, Iowa, where he headed the education department at Simpson College for 30 years.
The Booths were married for 54 years. In addition to their four children, Carol has four grandchildren and four step great-grandchildren adopted from Russia. She still lives in Indianola, where she volunteers for community and charitable causes, plays hand bells in her church choir and directs a chimes choir.
She hopes that more people will join in supporting The ALS Association's mission.
"There are so many people who have never even heard of ALS," she notes. "We need to spread the word and help fight this disease."