HURON — Josh Trandall wakes up every morning knowing and understanding that today is little different from yesterday. This is notable because yesterday was tougher than last week. Or last month.
Trundal’s ordeal began last summer.
“I was taking a walk,” he said on the phone. He noticed a tightness in his left lower leg. ” He took note of the problem and when the pressure subsided, he sought medical attention.
During his high school years at Huron High School and Northern State, Trundall was a top sprinter, so he paid attention to his pain.
“I went to see Dr. Joe Carr and we worked on some things. He suggested some tests,” recalls Trundoll. “By this time, my weakness was even worse and I had muscle spasms.”
Josh won both the 200m and 400m dashes in his senior season state track competition at HHS and then brought that talent to NSU, where he earned national honors for his accomplishments. bottom. He is his 12-time conference champion with his NSU and is part of a team that holds the school record for most sprints his relay. He is a member of his NSU Hall of Fame and this fall he will be inducted into the HHS Hall of Fame.
Josh and Marianne met in athletics. He was teaching in Canton and she was the coach at the town college. “Mark Wendelgas asked me to come help him at a track meet. I think Josh came to help, too,” Marianne said. It was the Wendell gas relay.”
a long road ahead of him
A post-test preliminary diagnosis was made near the end of July. It’s amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often called “Lou Gehrig’s disease,” and the career of a great New York Yankees player was cut short by the disease.
“That’s what I was diagnosed with, but there’s really no test for ALS,” Josh said. “It’s ‘exclude the other’ and ‘this is what the symptoms match.’ That was it for me.”
Further tests were done in Sioux Falls with the same diagnosis.
ALS is a rare neurological disease that primarily affects nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movements such as chewing, walking, and speaking. Nerve cells attached to muscles are broken down more quickly, affecting muscle function. The cause is unknown and, sadly, there is no effective treatment to stop or reverse its progression, but medications and treatments can slow the progression and reduce discomfort.
The main symptom is muscle weakness.
“The prognosis for most ALS patients is two to five years,” said Josh. I can’t use my right leg at all and my left leg is very weak. She uses a walker to get around and rarely uses a wheelchair when she goes out. He notes that other ALS patients have seen it affect muscles in the throat area, making swallowing difficult, while others have affected other muscle groups. “For now my arm is still strong,” he said, hearing a recognizable knock over the phone. “The arm is still moving.”
Trandall is grateful to be able to work during the restrictions on daily movement by teaching Spanish to high school students through Northern State University’s virtual learning program. “I’m glad I did it,” he says.
He spends most of his time in the basement of the house he shares with his wife Marianne and daughter Abby. The couple’s son, Jackson, is in college. “The hardest thing I ever did was talk to my kids about my diagnosis,” he said.
A special offer for families was held on January 14 at the Earl Nordby 4-H Exhibit Hall at the SD State Fairgrounds, hosted by friends Sarah Rubish and Chris Staley, who teach with Marianne at Huron High School. increase.
“Sarah and Chris got on well,” said Marianne. First it was a dinner, then a silent auction was added, then a live auction, and now it’s in full swing. We are very grateful,” she said. “There are huge costs ahead of us, but the help people have provided has been great.”
The plan is to remodel the main floor of the house to make it easier for Josh to use, and to make the second floor available. A wheelchair ramp is under construction and there is an elevator to take you from the basement to the main floor, but that also needs improvement.
The couple got married in 1999 and soon after boarded a plane to the South Pacific to pursue a teaching career. For Josh today, memories of his early teaching career are strong.
“I was very lucky,” he said. “Marianne and I have traveled quite a bit. We have done a lot in our lives, living and teaching in other countries. , it’s not a viable option, so I’m doing the best I can.
I’m looking forward to
“This is all very frustrating,” said Josh. “There are so many things you don’t think about — things you take for granted you will be able to do. For example, it’s snowing and I want to go out and shovel the snow, but I can’t.I want to help around the house, but I can’t.”
“The hardest part is that nothing gets better,” said an emotional Marianne.
Josh’s participation is limited, but all the mundane things to do the housework are left to Marianne.
“It’s kind of a mess,” she said. “We are doing a lot to accommodate Josh and things are changing quickly. What worked last week to move him, for example, may not work this week. Sometimes it is necessary to find another way of doing things.”
“My wife is a superstar,” said Josh. “She has always been my support and has been immeasurable help through all of this. My family has also been wonderful and supportive.”
According to Josh, the community has been strengthened as well. “I am truly amazed by the generosity and concern of people in this community,” he said. “Friends, family, co-workers, and former co-workers have all reached out and donated items or donated their time to benefit. It’s a blessing to see and I’m so grateful for what everyone has done for us.
“It’s frustrating, but I’m focused on living like every day is the best day.”
Trandall Offer – January 14th
6:00 p.m. Nordby Exhibit Hall
A silent auction, a live auction and a pork loin dinner are planned, with all proceeds going to Josh and Marianne Trandoll. The family faces the cost of Josh’s treatment for his ALS diagnosis and the cost of remodeling their home to make Josh feel more comfortable.
“My sister helped me by setting up a GoFundMe page. I have an account with the Dakotaland Federal Credit Union,” said Josh Trundoll. “The funds raised will help cover the cost of renovations to make the second floor more accessible.”
Among the items donated for the auction are autographed hockey sticks procured by a cousin in California who works for the LA Chargers football team and the LA Kings Hockey Club. Other sports memorabilia are available as well.
“I am a fan of Michigan State and understand that one of my former students is working to get a football signed by Coach Jim Harbaugh,” added Josh. “My mother is a painter and her work is also auctioned.”
Bands and dances are also planned, and the general public is welcome to attend.