BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – It had been 11 months since WYTV 33 News anchor Stan Boney interviewed Christine Terlesky of Boardman.
She has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, which is commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease. Recently, Terlesky posted an update on her Facebook page saying “ALS sucks. It just punches you right in the face.”
On Thursday, Boney interviewed her again to get an update on her condition.
Last March, Terlesky could stand, but the cane leaning against the back door was a sign of things to come. During that first interview, Boney and Terlesky sat at the kitchen table of the Boardman home she shares with her husband and three kids.
Eleven months later, they sat at the same table.
“Mentally, I am doing pretty good. Physically, I guess you could say digressing,” Terlesky said.
She now needs a wheelchair to get around. She can still stand, but barely.
She has lost virtually all strength in her wrists and she can’t use her fingers. And the muscles in her ankles are shot. Much of the digression has come in the past month.
“This disease is so weird. Like I can do a sit-up, but I can’t hold a pen,” Terlesky said. “My neck is stronger now than probably any other part of my body.”
Terlesky is the daughter of long-time Boardman girls basketball coach Ron Moschella, who is now at Columbiana. She and her sisters all played for dad. And later, Terlesky taught and coached at Boardman High School.
But all that was before ALS.
“The hardest thing about all this, honestly, is losing my independence,” Terlesky said.
The family had a handicapped accessible bathroom and bedroom built onto their house.
“It has made our life way easier. I don’t know what we would have done,” Terlesky said.
Someone is always with her because they are afraid of her falling. And last week she learned she will need surgery for a feeding tube.
“Because my lung capacity is not that great and if you put me on a ventilator, they might not be able to take me off,” Terlesky said.
She said her kids are handling it well. She does not want them dwelling on it, so she doesn’t either.
The Moschella’s, though, are fighters and don’t like feeling helpless.
“But it is the frustrating part about ALS. You just feel like, you just wring your hands and wait for the inevitable,” Terlesky said.
She talks more about that frustration in Part 2, which will air at 11 p.m. on WYTV.