'Not giving up:' Cumberland County man battling ALS is source of strength for family

STEDMAN, N.C. (WTVD) -- Jimmy Blackmon finds it hard to look at himself in the mirror. The 46-year-old and his family watched Lou Gehrig's disease change his life within a year.

His health has declined significantly with drastic weight loss, speech changes and he's been reduced to walking with a walker.

"It's hard to see him this way because it's not the same man I married," said his wife, Angela Blackmon. "To see him go from 230 pounds to 165 in just a little bit over a year. It's hard to watch him waste away."

Blackmon had a plan for his life. He'd work until it was time to retire, walk his daughter down the aisle and even watch his grandkids run around his house. A grim diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as ALS, would change things.

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"There's really nothing they can do for him. It's just going to work its course and within two to five years is when he would pass away," Angela Blackmon said.

Being the son of a retired Army Master Sergeant, he was taught to fight at an early age. It's that very spirit that he said he believes is going to get him to his daughter's graduation next year.

"I've been talking to my guidance counselor about letting me graduate early, so he can still be a part of my graduation," said his daughter, Taylor Blackmon.

Angela has started a GoFundMe page in hopes that it would help raise money to purchase a handicapped van with rear entry access.
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