November 29th, 2019

Beth’s love for the beach is undeniable. Team Gleason’s adventure coordinator, Margaret, was eager to help Beth and her husband, Lee, get to Siesta Key, Florida, to continue to do one of the things she loves most. Siesta Key is a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Sarasota, Florida. It’s known for its beautiful sandy beaches.  We were able to assist with beach wheelchair rental and lodging for their beach getaway.    


“I was 10 years old when I went to the beach for the first time with my family. I fell in love with the ocean- the beach, the seashells, and the wonder of what lies beneath the waves! We found starfish, sand dollars, and a variety of other shells, each one beautiful in its own way! From that vacation forward, I knew all or part of every vacation had to include a beach! When I was diagnosed with ALS in September of 2015, my husband Lee asked me what I wanted to do, and without hesitation, I said I wanted to go to the beach. Two months later, we were sitting on the beach in Florida, trying to make sense of the path that we were now on. The sound of the ocean and the warmth of the sun helped us relax and make a plan for our ALS Journey. We had only been married for two years when I was diagnosed! We went on several vacations over the next couple of years, but my ALS progressed, beach vacations seemed out of reach, and that was sad for me! But Lee did some research and found a company that rents beach wheelchairs, and we were back at the beach! But my ALS was progressing, and Lee was lucky enough to be able to retire and take care of me 24/7. Lee was only 53 when he retired, so we had to make a few adjustments to our finances, and then we found the Gleason Foundation! What a joy it was to be approved for our beach adventure! We spent two weeks at the beach equipped with a beach wheelchair! Lee and I “walked” on the beach together every day, and it was wonderful! We picked up shells each day for our granddaughter, and she loved them! Thank you, Gleason Foundation, for making my dream come true!!”  – Beth, Findlay, OH