Radio Show Listener: I want to share my story with you. I have been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. I began having some difficulty with climbing stairs during the spring of 2012. There is no known cure and only one drug, which extends life only two to four months (and I do not tolerate it well). My neurologist says the average life expectancy after diagnosis is four to five years.

I am mostly positive about my condition. After all, we all eventually die; I just have more information than most about what I’ll die from. We are coping with the issues that come up. I expect that I will need more help in the future, but I have a great family and wonderful friends who are ready to help.

I am very thankful that I have long-term care insurance, which I always thought was a waste of money. After all, I figured I was going to die quickly from a heart attack like my father. Who knew?

Ric: Thank goodness you have the LTC policy. ALS is a terrible disease — and an expensive one. Having to cope with the financial challenge only makes the situation worse, so the policy will help you and your family avoid a significant cause of stress (and distress). Your point is an eloquent one: You bought it even though you were sure you didn’t need it. I wish everyone acted as you have.

You and your family have my best wishes, and I thank you for sharing your story with us.