About Andy Miller:
In his forties, Andy had a renewed interest in trail running and completed his first trail marathon in the Spring of 2012. During that summer while training for the Megatransect, he injured his left ankle to the point that he had to pull out of the race.
In hindsight, his ankle weakness may have been the first sign of muscles affected by ALS.
In the Spring of 2014 the effort needed to keep up while running with friends was increasing. Balancing poses during yoga became nearly impossible on his left leg. It was clear something was wrong.
Several times during this period he joked that he felt like he had "one and a half legs". This would be his team name for events going forward.
After months of doctor visits and observations Andy was diagnosed with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).
The next two months were the hardest of Andy’s life. Through the support of his wife and some close friends he has developed a positive outlook and focus.
While Andy was still able to get around he participated in over 20 observational trials which consisted of experimental MRI, PET scans, skin sampling, 9 lumbar punctures to sample cerebral spinal fluid, hundreds of blood draws and neurological exams.
Now in his 6th year since diagnosis, Andy is wheelchair bound, uses a ventilator to breathe, and uses his eyes to communicate through and operate a computer. It has been a long 6 years but he still has a positive outlook.
Andy’s ventilator provides every breath for him because his lung muscles no longer function. The ventilator itself will run 6 hours on its internal battery.
Andy had a big scare with storm Isaias which resulted in a 17 hour power outage.
Luckily, Andy’s kids were home and Andy helped them to jerry rig the lawn tractor to charge the ventilator batteries. This was an eye opener for the family.
The long term goal is a Solar battery system for the whole house but it is very expensive. As a stop-gap measure, Andy feels like he can make it through the winter with a deeper well of portable batteries which at minimum will cost between $3,000 - $5,000.
Andy at his last race (a Velo Amis event)
Andy participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge