While hunting one day in 2009, Keith Huffman of Crumpler turned his head, and was seized by a painful neck cramp that lasted for several minutes.
Soon, the cramping became chronic, moving into his legs, eventually developing into an uncontrollable twitching of his muscles. By 2011, he was unable to work.
Huffman, a farmer and farm equipment retailer, was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in March 2012.
Lou Gehrig’s disease, properly known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of movement and voluntary muscle control, according to the ALS Association. In the later stages of the disease, patients are completely paralyzed, yet in most cases, their minds remain sharp and alert.
Today affecting as many as 30,000 Americans, ALS is a fatal disease for which there is no known cure.
Huffman, 51, and his wife Tammy have three children: Brittany, Ryan and Preston.
To aid the Huffman family with Keith’s considerable medical expenses, a spaghetti dinner benefit featuring a silent auction and raffle will be held 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at Ashe County High School. Dinner will be $8 per plate, and raffle tickets $5 each or five for $20.
The benefit had been organized by family and friends, with auction and raffle items donated by the local business community, Tammy said.
“We’ve got a lot of response and help already,” she said. “I can’t express our appreciation for the people who have helped — it’s just unreal.”
For those who would like to contribute, but will not be able to attend the event, donations can be mailed to the Huffman’s residence at 1460 Shatley Road, Crumpler, NC 28617.