my story

While most of you know me, I’m Peter for those who don’t. Although I was born in Baltimore I was raised in the evergreen state of Washington where my folks still live, but for the past 28 years we’ve been in Orange County, California.

Andrea and I have been married for 33 great years, and we have two amazing kids, Ryan (29) who’s married to Julie (amazing), and Chelsea (24), who married Rob Donegan (we love him) on November 11, 2011.

I spent my first twenty years working for Nordstrom, and my last ten plus with Polo, Nielsen and TGV Partners in succession.   My work has been with people whom I love and admire to this day, and together we built some pretty cool and successful businesses.

I’ve been blessed all my life with great family and friends that have been close to me both then and now.  All across this great country and internationally I have friends from work and family that I cherish and (thanks to technology) we can keep in touch with.

So although this chapter in my life is the most difficult situation I have endured; I find real joy in looking back at the blessings in my life, and forge ahead living one day at a time. I find my comfort and peace from my family, friends, and most of all from Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior.  I choose Joy.

Andrea writes . . .

Late in the summer of 2008, we noticed that Peter was having difficulties with his speech. We began looking for answers and ended up at USC Medical Center.  One year later on September 9, 2009 the doctors told us that Peter has ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  After receiving the news, Peter and I were stunned for a few days to the point where we couldn’t even talk about it or tell anyone. We were in shock and disbelief. How could this be? Peter never even gets sick; he is only 52 and healthy as a horse. We couldn’t even pray…we were both emotionally paralyzed.

We asked our good friends, Bucky and Kathleen, to come over and we shared the news with them and sobbed buckets of tears. Then, Bucky lead us in prayer and we cried out to God to take the ALS away. We prayed for God to give us strength, courage and wisdom to tell the kids, our family and friends.  Bucky reminded us that we have been given the gift of time and while we did not see it as a blessing at the moment, we now rejoice in it daily.

We asked Ryan, Chelsea and Julie to come over because we had some news about Dad’s testing. We will never forget the incredible pain and deep sadness on their faces as Andrea said the words “Dad has ALS.” It was an unbearable deep sadness and we all cried and hugged. There weren’t a lot of words as our thoughts and emotions were raw and we just needed to be together. We sat under our backyard umbrella table where we have had so many wonderful family meals, laughs and summer nights.  Peter and I wanted to take away their pain and tell them everything would be alright, but we couldn’t. We would all have to hold tight to each other and journey down this ALS road together.

For more about ALS click here > Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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