Some of you may know and others not...please take the time to read if you would. You know, there are a few good men out there you’d give your right arm for. People who’ve not only helped you, but impacted your life in ways too many to mention. Paul Knox – dbltree – is one of them. He’s never asked a thing from me but has helped thousands of people online and in person for free over the years – with both foodplot help and life help. He’s never complained a lick about his life, but has been ever thankful for every day he’s been alive on planet Earth. The most humbling thing about his life isn’t the fact that he’s shown us all how to live a life of serving God, family, and others – or the fact that he’s shown us what integrity, hard work, and a servant-attitude has look like. It’s the sheer fact that even now with his crippling disease advancing, he’s showing us how to exit this Earth with grace and a thankful heart. He has shown us how to live and now going to show us how to pass with dignity. I’ve never been good at being a deliveryman for bad news. It’s not in my nature…nor is it in dbltree’s. That is why it’s taken so long for him to show any sign that he needs some help. It brought me to tears when he told me and gets me as I type this now. Paul was recently diagnosed with ALS, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and it is taking its toll on him rather fast. On January 3, he was diagnosed with the ugly disease and given 2-4 years to live. Less than a year later he can hardly shuffle across the floor, barely speak, and now needs some support structures at home. This is why I’m writing all of you and putting this post out there. At Outreach Outdoors, we have come together and will be taking donations for Paul and getting those to him as fast as we receive them. In talking with him and his wife, Lori, I’ve calculated at least $11,000 we’d like to raise for him currently (in the form of a motorized wheelchair, eye-gaze computer, motorized lifts, etc.). It is tough on his wife to lift him out of bed, the chair, etc and it’s crazy how fast this disease is working. There will be more costs in the future, so you can donate at anytime through PayPal – or credit card via PayPal. We have tagged the donation button so every penny goes to Paul’s family. This is one of the last snippets from an email from Paul, “Our income is from SSDI which we are grateful for but it's barely enough to survive so financial help for equipment will be appreciated.” Would you consider donating to a man who has probably saved many foodplot growers thousands of dollars with his free information….free information that will live with us forever since he has taken thousands of hours to post online for all of us to see?? Many will ask “what can I do?” Here’s how/where you can help – we've created Paul's own forum at OO: Dbltree's Forum To DONATE, please go to the following link: Dbltree's Story To follow Paul’s journey and respond to his prayer request, please consider signing up on our forum (if you want to post) to leave a message of encouragement for Paul (and you can reply here as well, but his whole story is on Outreach Outdoors if you want to read it): Leave a note for Dbltree To read about what Paul’s life is really about, click here (tough to get through the first page without some tears): Life and Times of Dbltree Other ways to help: Chris Lane is looking at some online auctions with IowaWhitetail.com. If you have some things that could be donated for online auction, or a spring fundraiser, please reply to this post/thread or PM myself. Our timeline is to raise as much money now for Paul’s family while the need is there. In the spring, we are planning a 3-D bow shoot. If you could possibly help with running a 3D shoot or have or know someone who could donate a target, please let us know. The fundraiser will be followed with a dinner and “good Roast” of Paul. All people will be welcome to an open microphone to tell Paul publicly how much he’s helped and/or affected your life. If anyone has experience or can help run this, we are looking in the Keosauqua area. Please consider helping out if you can – monetarily, through prayer, or a post of encouragement. This has nothing to do with IowaWhitetail, Outreach Outdoors, QDMA, Michigan Sportsman, etc, but about helping a brother out who has helped us much through the years. If you want to read about when his struggles started, you can read below regarding his timeline and about ALS. Thanks for your time in reading this and your response to the call as well. God bless - Matt Thede and the Outreach Outdoors Crew Some have been wondering about when Paul started noticing some struggles. Below is a timeline for when the first symptoms appeared: July 2012 – couldn’t turn ignition in truck August 2012 – Started tripping in the timber September 2012 – Tried to run and fell flat on his face October 2012 – Legs began to feel weak November 2012 – Couldn’t pull bow back when a buck came by, made Dr. appt. December 2012 – Had EMG and two MRI’s , falling often in timber January 3rd, 2013 – Diagnosed with ALS, given 2-4 years to live February 2013 – 2nd opinion confirms diagnosis; walking with limp, right hand became barely usable March 2013 – 3rd opinion UIHC same; no longer able to work in timber; son Jesse takes over business April 2013 – Trouble standing up May 2013 – Voice begins to weaken June 2013 – Fell twice in house; began using walker July 2013 – Left hand losing strength September 2013 – Fell using walker December 2013 – Type with 1 finger; barely able to shuffle with walker; voice nearly gone; ordered a power wheel chair; wife has to bath him, lift his legs into bed, help sit up and use the bathroom. For those wondering what ALS is: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. As motor neurons degenerate, they can no longer send impulses to the muscle fibers that normally result in muscle movement. Early symptoms of ALS often include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. When muscles no longer receive the messages from the motor neurons that they require to function, the muscles begin to atrophy (become smaller). Limbs begin to look "thinner" as muscle tissue atrophies.