Larry Littrell’s life changed on July 27, 2013. It is the day he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrigs Disease.
The disease is more commonly known as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). ALS recently made nationwide headlines as everyone from kids, to public officials and celebrities participated in the ice bucket challenge — a challenge that has brought greater awareness and funding to the disease that has no known cause or cure.
Despite there being no medical cure, Littrell holds onto hope for a higher power to take care of his needs.
“The only hope is divine intervention, since there is no known medical cure,” said Littrell.
Littrell’s symptoms began two years before he was diagnosed. The delay in diagnosing the disease is just another factor that contributes to the complexity of the disease. One doctor told him there are 60 other diseases that have to be eliminated before an ALS diagnosis can be made.
According to Littrell, the average life expectancy after diagnosis is two to five years and at any given time there are approximately 30,000 people battling ALS in the United States alone.
Another unit of time Littrell discusses in regards to the disease is 90 minutes. According to Littrell, every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes someone dies of the disease.
ALS has left Littrell totally disabled — confined to a power wheelchair, needing assistance with 90 percent of his daily activities and receiving 95 percent of his daily nutrition through a feeding tube. Additionally, his voice has been severely affected and it is nearly impossible to drink water by mouth without aspirating.
Littrell started writing a book 10 years ago, but had never had the time to complete it. The title of the book, “Marked for a Miracle,” had come to him over 20 years ago.
After his ALS, Littrell used his time to finish his book. Littrell is using the funds from his book sales to finish a handicap accessible bathroom for his home.
He typed most of the story with his right hand due to the disease causing loss of muscles and the death of neurons in the brain.
The book is about parts of his life, dating all the way back from his childhood to his life at the present, dealing with the disease.
“Marked for a Miracle” was published by Tate Publishing and was released December 2014. Littrell is proud to have received numerous excellent reviews of the book.
It can be purchased at TatePublishing.com, Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
Littrell has copies that he will sign and ship for $15.99 — $12.99 for the book and $3 shipping and handling. He can be contacted by Facebook private messaging.
Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-302-9091 or on Twitter @ReinaDailyNews.