Katie Berghoef

First post: Jul 30, 2022 Latest post: Jan 10, 2024
Katie, our daughter, mother, sister, granddaughter, aunt, niece and friend has been diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Many of you have the privilege of knowing Katie personally--for those who do not not, you may recognize her from her time working at Main St BBQ, Flat River Grill, Sunnybrook or Stonewater restaurants. Her beautiful smile, bouncy blonde curls, charisma, and energy leave a lasting impression on nearly everyone she encounters.

Katie first began experiencing symptoms in early May with decreased mobility and function in her left hand. Initially, she was tested for carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger. After seeing a neurologist and undergoing extensive testing, the diagnosis of ALS was made on July 20, 2022. This has come as a complete shock to all of us as Katie is active, young (only 39 years old), and otherwise healthy. We are still trying to come to grips with the tragic implications of Katie living with this rare and incurable disease.

Katie is a single mother of 2 beautiful children, Mason and Madison (Maddie), who will both attend Lowell High School this year. In early July, Katie and her family purchased their first home in Lowell and are still trying to settle in. Within 30 days, the family went from the excitement of a new home to being devastated by an ALS diagnosis. We, as family and friends of Katie, are organizing around providing for their current and long-term support. We do not know how the disease will progress, or at what pace, but we do know that we need to be proactive; anticipating Katie and her children's future needs. For example, the home Katie purchased is older and has a small bathroom which will be inaccessible as her condition changes. Plans are now underway to renovate the bathroom to accommodate the space required for a future walker and wheelchair. Down the road, there will be many other home renovation projects required for her evolving needs. Additionally, as Katie loses the ability to work, the family's financial needs will change: she and the kids will need assistance with things like school supplies, food, clothing, and covering costs related to housing, utilities, and transportation. As Katie's mobility decreases, she will require assistance completing daily chores such as cleaning, laundry, lawn care, and shopping.

We would like to thank everyone for their support, prayers, and concern. The outpouring from the community has been amazing. Katie's family and supporters are uplifted by knowing we are not venturing on this journey alone. It is our hope that this Caring Bridge page can provide a space for folks to offer words of love, encouragement, and support to Katie and her careteam. We are still in the early stages of organizing support and intend to use this page as a space to provide updates and share needs for Katie, Mason, and Maddie. Meanwhile, continue to pray for Katie and those closest to her, as a long and difficult road lies ahead.

Many of you have asked how you can help. We are just getting organized, but so far we have planned:

*October 24 - a fundraiser will be held in Lowell (details will follow). Please put it on your calendar now!

* A future GoFundMe page to assist the family with day-to-day expenses, improvement projects, and medical costs. If you’d like to support financially, please wait until this site is set up.

*In the near future, we’ll have a page to sign up for meal delivery and other opportunities.

We are not stopping….. Please keep your eye on this page for future needs. Katie and her family need all the help they can get and we appreciate anything you can do to contribute to supporting them during this extremely difficult time.

Blessings to all of you.
The Berghoef Family

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