December 2021
by Cathy Kleiber

5 years ago when I was diagnosed with ALS, I made it my mission to spend as much time as I could with my husband and 3 daughters making memories. I have learned that ALS takes away many things, but memories and experiences with the ones you love is something that it cannot touch.  I always wanted to visit New York City at Christmas.
Thanks to Team Gleason, I was able to experience the magic of Christmas in NYC with my precious family. We saw the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, the decorations at the department stores, the crystal ball in Times Square, and the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular show.  The Rockettes were amazing – so in sync and wore beautiful costumes.  I especially loved the toy soldier number, the kick line, and the live manger scene on stage.

The light show at the Saks Fifth Avenue store was so beautiful and even had Christmas music in sync with the lights.  We also were able to visit Bryant Park, where there is ice skating, and a winter market, where we did a little Christmas shopping.  It was an unbelievable experience that we will always remember.

Team Gleason did a wonderful job of trip planning.  I have little use of my arms and only can walk short distances due to weakness in my neck and back.  They booked us a hotel a few blocks away from the Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, and the subway access.  I was able to walk to most of the places we visited.  Unfortunately, the elevator to the subway was broken, but I was able to do the steep stairs to the train with the help of my husband and daughters cheering me on. No White Flags!

Thank you to everyone at Team Gleason for making this adventure possible.  We had such a great time – many laughs and special moments that we will never forget.