Hello! My name is Heidi Good Swiacki. I have been married to Steve for 25 years, which has been filled with laughter, trust and love. We have 2 great kids, Ashton 22 and Chris 16. I have ALS, aka Lou Gehrigs Disease. I was officially diagnosed March '05, I was just turning 45. This blog will be about a myriad of topics. I will share my ALS story which will hopefully encourage others. It will show that quality of life comes in many forms. I have to tell you up front that there will be some spiritual references. Don't be afraid or turned off by that. Since I have had ALS I have seen many miracles. Let's be realistic, who can be a happy, non-verbal,ventilated quadriplegic without Faith? I hope you will join me and make this an interesting, educational, inspirational forum. Humor and the ability to enjoy life is required! :)

Heidi passed away 3-25-13 :(

August 4, 2013

Hello, Steve here. To help with the healing process, I am going to continue on with Heidi's blog, primarily talking about our lives and how we as a family are learning to live on with Heidi's memories pushing us forward. Topics covered will be geared towards the affects ALS has on loved ones.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Thanks

Thanksgiving is a Holiday close to my heart. Growing up is was a feast prepared by my grandmother and my dad. It was  a time when the Good Clan would gather at Grandma's Ranch out in Newhall/Saugus area. All of my cousins came, we played cards, hunt for anything living in the creek, have tetherball competitions and just hang out.  I was the youngest and a real pest to my older cousins. Always wanting to be a part of everything. Once they tied me to a tree just to get me out of the way. Of course I was always made to sit at the kids table with a few cousins that felt sorry for me.  The feast was never ending and after most retreated to the couches to moan and groan from eating too much and then fall asleep. The non-cooks would clean up. I would go lay on the front lawn and watch the bats come out at dusk to eat the gnats. Sometimes they would come pretty close to me but it was always an amazing show.

Have you noticed that their are 1 or 2 people that keep the family together at Thanksgiving? When Grandma died my dad kept it up. He and his wife Adrianne would have at least 30 people come to their Thanksgiving feast.  The cacophony in the kitchen was alive, with everyone helping. The naps after were the tradition. The people would change. My cousins mostly had families of their own and would make their own traditions. But my dad's table was always full. I finally was big enough where I didn't have to sit at the kid's table anymore. When my dad died, the large gatherings of the Good clan died too. He was the force that brought us together, as was his mother before him.

It was time for Steve and I to make our own traditions. I didn't think Thanksgiving was Thanksgiving without a large group of people. So we tried making it a travel holiday. That lasted until we had kids. We would invite others to join us but I was never able to recapture the Thanksgiving of my youth. I guess that's part of growing up.
Now we look forward to Thanksgiving with just our immediate family. We cook enough for 20 and offer our table to others but if it's just us, it's ok. We don't see Ashton very much so that's always a treat and Chris is usually hangin' with his buds. Every minute we get with them is a treasure and we are very very thankful. With my mom being 86, my ALS and the kids off in making  their own lives, time together is a true blessing.

Today my family and  I would like to give thanks to so many that have helped so much during this difficult time. The Meal Angels, the Inner Circle ,the ALS Guardian Angels, Ride for Life, Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards, the owners of Barwest in Sacramento, my sisters and classmates from Dana Hall, Facebook, Stewart Fries and the Viking Charities. The letters of support and the generosity of friends and strangers has been overwhelming. We don't know the latest tally yet but we know about 4 months of caregiving costs has been raised.

We are truly thankful.

Please circulate this blog to everyone you know. ALS Awareness is the beginning of  a cure. More money is being poured into research and more creative ideas are hitting the headlines. In the 8 years I have had ALS, this past year has been a banner year on findings. All of this WILL lead to a cure. If you would like more information on current research please go to www. ALSA.org.

Thank you for reading, caring and praying.
Here is a picture of my beautiful family, it's a little outdated,2009. Hopefully a new one will be posted if we can get out of our PJ's!


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. . . .

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Veteran's Day

Thank you for using The ALS Association Mail System.

Message sent to the following recipients:
Nuestra Gente Magazine
San Luis Obispo Tribune
Santa Barbara Independent
Santa Barbara News-Press
Santa Maria Times
Message text follows:

Heidi Good
380 Midten Hof
solvang, CA 93463-2962

November 9, 2012

[recipient address was inserted here]

Dear [recipient name was inserted here],

A few weeks ago, studies found that NFL players are at greater risk of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).  Papers like this one ran stories about the news and rightfully so. But with Veterans Day approaching on Sunday November 11, how many of us know that a much, much larger segment of our population
- military veterans - also is at greater risk of Lou Gehrig's Disease?  

Studies have shown that military veterans are about twice as likely to die from ALS as the general public. It does not matter when or where they served in the military - home or abroad, during a time of peace or war, from World War I to Afghanistan.  Unfortunately, for these heroes and everyone else in the world who is living with ALS, there is no treatment.
There is no cure.  They will die from the disease in an average of just two to five years.

We do not know what causes ALS in veterans or NFL players. Is it head trauma?  Excessive physical activity?  Those are potential risk factors.
But we do know that raising awareness of the risk faced by our veterans not only can let these heroes know about the significant VA benefits that are available, but also help us to find the cause treatment and cure for this horrific disease.

Just as the media published stories about the greater risk faced by NFL players, so too should they report the risks faced by our military heroes who have fought for and defended our nation.

I encourage your readers to visit the Wall of Honor at www.alsa.org.
There, people can read the stories and see the faces of hundreds of veterans living with ALS and those who already have been lost to the disease.  There, they can see that ALS does not simply strike the stars we watch on TV every Sunday, but also our family members, friends and neighbors who have served in the military - our heroes.


Heidi Good