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TV 5 Follows Journey of Bangor Man with ALS 

Joy Hollowell

For a little more than a year now, TV-5 has been bringing you the story of Jim Kingsbury.The Bangor man has been battling ALS.He and his family agreed to let our cameras follow along in his struggle, in the hopes it will bring more awareness about this debilitating disease.Joy Hollowell caught up with him recently, and found a very different man than the one we first met in May of last year.=========”Hi, my name is Jim Kingsbury and I’m 45 years old. Recently I’ve been going through a little health issue.”This video on You Tube was shot nearly five years ago, shortly after jim was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.At that time, he could still work as a chef at the Whig and Courier in Bangor.When our cameras caught up with him three years later, Jim had stopped working. His speech was a bit more limited as was his movement. At our visit last November, Jim was learning how to use a computerized-voice box.”May 5th, he decided that he was going to vent. Most patients, if they don’t vent, they die within five years of respiratory failure,” says Lisa Kingsbury, Jim’s wife.Jim Kingsbury is now on permanent life support. He still has some use of his legs, but tires easily. The kingsbury home has become a virtual hospital.”I don’t know if I was being naive or what, but this was a lot more than what I anticipated,” says Lisa Kingsbury.Lisa has stopped working to care for Jim. it’s a 24-hour job, and she’s grateful for the help from visiting nurses.”I would like to be able to get up and around,” says Jim Kingsbury via his voice box.This computer is now Jim’s voice. He uses his eyes to blink out letters on a key pad. The changes are a lot for anyone to take in. Thankfully, the Kingsbury’s son, Jack seems to be taking it all in stride.”Yesterday, he actually sat down and did a puzzle in here and he comes in and talks to Daddy,” says Lisa Kingsbury. LIsa admitted that she was hesitant to keep allowing TV- 5 to show such a personal part of their lives. But Jim was insistent.”I want people to see what this disease goes,” says Jim Kingsbury.”He’s amazing, he really is amazing,” says Lisa about her husband. “He’s going to make me cry.”=========On Saturday, August 28th, the Walk to Defeat ALS will again take place in Bangor.For more information, you can log onto www.walktodefeatals.org