A Family Legacy
Laura Scheid has been connected with The ALS Association since January 2019 when her mother was diagnosed with ALS. Today she carries on her mother’s beautiful legacy of courage and grace.
Meet Legacy Society Member Laura Scheid
My mom and dad met thanks to some serendipitous timing and an ice cream truck. Both had just divorced from their respective spouses, found themselves conveniently moving and living next to each other. About a year later, my dad’s best friend coaxed my dad into buying mom an ice cream cone from the local ice cream truck. Their meeting and subsequent 45-year marriage are truly book-worthy.
Unfortunately, I lost my mom, Elaine Metzger, to ALS on July 9th, 2020. She was diagnosed in January 2019 after multiple miss-diagnoses. With no family history of ALS, we were unfamiliar with the signs. Mom began struggling with her balance and got a cane, but she was also 86 years old at the time and we thought it was maybe just age. As her condition progressed, we knew something was off.
The first resources we received were from the University of California San Diego ALS Certified Clinic. There, we met Keith Miller, The ALS Association’s local Associate Director of Care Service. He introduced us to support groups, case workers and social workers, and supplied us with endless equipment loans. He saved the day, every day.
My support of the Association began when my sister and I attended the 2019 ALS Fiesta dinner event in San Diego. Seeing all those people going through the same thing and all being there for each other, sharing stories, was such a gracious moment for me and my sister. We both ended the event thinking “We can do this because they are all doing it, too,” and I’ve been giving and volunteering since then.
Inspired by my mom, the community, and our mission, I recently even designated The ALS Association as a beneficiary of my retirement account. I can only give so much today or tomorrow and hopefully this gift comes many, many years from now, but when it does, I know it will have a big impact on our cause. Additionally, I want my family to know how important this relationship and the Association’s work is to me, and this feels like a good way to do that.
I’m sharing my story in hopes of inspiring others to leave a legacy gift in their will, trust, or by beneficiary designation, as I and many others have done. As I see it, this is an opportunity to memorialize those who we’ve loved and lost and ensure this work can continue until ALS is a thing of the past – without having to write a check today. My legacy gift memorializes my mom and I know she’d be honored.
She was the most peaceful and caring person. She was always smiling and never mean-spirited or sad through her diagnosis and progression. She showed me courage and grace. In finding my words for this story, I asked my dad if he had anything to say about her and he summarized her perfectly: “She was just the most beautiful person in the world.” I hope I can fill her shoes and carry on her legacy as I strive to be more like her every day.