My name is Jillian Cardoza and I am Chief Petty Officer in the Navy and avid Chivette! I am inquiring about getting some press for a friend of mine who is suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and has recently entered the terminal phase of this horrible disease. His name is Gary Welt and he is a Master Chief SEAL in the Navy. Gary has been involved in every conflict from Kosovo to Afghanistan and has spent his life defending our country. He started of as a Corpsman and then transitioned to Navy SEALs and retired a few years ago. He discovered that he had ALS while on a mission in the Somali Basin when his legs became weak and gave out. A few weeks later he received the diagnosis and, of course, was stunned to learn that he had ALS. He is very active in the Tampa Bay community and an avid Harley rider. He has been hospitalized while his house was undergoing renovations to accommodate his wheelchair and will returning home for his final months tomorrow (19MAR14). While Vete ran’s Affairs (VA) can provide basic nursing assistance to his situation; they cannot give him the round-the-clock care his condition needs. His family will have to foot close to 7k a month out of pocket to ensure that they can staff their home to make it comfortable and safe for Doc. I visit the Chive daily and show Doc pictures front the site. He is quite the fan himself…especially of “FLBP” and “Hump Day”. It would mean the world for us to have the Chive involved in getting his story out. More than money… Doc wants AWARENESS!!! ALS is twice as likely to effect military personnel and we still don’t know why. It is less than 18 months since he was diagnosed and he recently lost his ability to speak clearly. He lost his ability to breath on his own and move any of his extremities at the 12 month mark. This disease is horrible beyond words and we would be ever in debt of your company if you would bring this story to the front page of the Chive or any affiliate sites. Please help us get his story out.
Part 2 response to my e-mail:
We are beyond words that you have responded to our plea to get the word out about ALS and this brave SEAL’s battle. I have attached quite a few photo’s of Gary and I have told his family that I will be swinging by later this week (the 26th-28th of APR at the latest) with some Chive gear to get some more. Gary has his own Chive shirt but we don’t have a picture of him wearing it yet. Latest update on Gary is that he has lost almost all ability to talk and is now using his computer and iris to communicate, (“scratch my ass” is in his top 10 most used phrases” haha). We are holding a small charity event for him in April and I have included the Silver Strand Foundation (SSF) in this email, as they are hosting the event. The SSF is a non-profit org that works with SEALs and their families to raise awareness about ALS, PTSD, and other illnesses, which are very common in the Special Forces community. A little more background on Gary “Doc” Welt. Doc has worked for almost every SEAL team to include the elite Seal Team 6. He was also a Basic Underwater Demolition (BUDS) Instructor for a period of time and instructed the “Lone Survivor”, Marcus Luttrell. Please let me know if you need ANYTHING, whether it be more pics, chive gear pics, more info on Doc, videos, etc. As I stated in my initial request. We want to get he word out on ALS more than anything and raise awareness on the fact that this disease hits our service members, police force, and fire fighters twice more than it does other people. We thank you… SO MUCH… in advance for considering Doc’s story for posting on your kick ass site.
Face of ALS with Gary “Doc” Welt (Doc talking about his battle with ALS and getting the word out)
Click here to learn more
Also, help raise money for him, click here