A Bit About Bobby QUINN
Bobby’s journey began December 1968 when he was born, and then raised in Powhatan, Virginia on 45 acres.
He spent his formidable years hunting, participating in athletics and working at Food Lion through high school. Bobby played soccer, baseball and football throughout his middle and high school years. While attending Powhatan High School he held all regional and all district titles and was chosen as the MVP his senior year. He bought his first home at 19 years old. As an adult Bobby played 20+ years of tournament softball and learned how to play pool. In 2013 his team won the Vegas Cup and went to Las Vegas to play in the American Pool players Association National Finals.
Bobby also enjoyed staying fit and was in the gym regularly. Shortly before his ALS diagnosis he had 19 1/2-inch biceps so it’s not surprising that he was the guy who everyone called upon when something heavy had to be moved! He saw these opportunities as a privilege and was always happy to help anyone who asked.
After working various jobs, Bobby began his career in the HVAC industry in 1998. He was ultimately forced to retire from his sales manager position early in 2019 because ALS stole his ability to go any further in his successful career. Every place Bobby ever worked, including Food Lion at the age of 16, he developed long standing relationships with his co-workers and many others around him.
He’s the type of guy who has never met a stranger, has countless friends because of his genuine kindness, overwhelming generosity, huge heart and never ending will to help others in any way that he can.
Early in 2014 Bobby met his soulmate, Michele, and they were married in March of 2016. They enjoyed every moment together until June 2016, less than 90 days after they were married, when he came home from work complaining that his left hand felt weird and was weak. Fast forward a couple of weeks when Bobby couldn’t close his hand around a glass to pick up a drink at lunch. He and his wife also started noticing constant twitching up and down his left arm. A primary care visit led to an orthopedist evaluation and that led to a neurological consult. After several tests, MRI’s, blood work, EMG’s, etc. and ruling out any type of cancer, tumors, and the most common diseases, it was decided that fusing his cervical spine and replacing the discs in his neck may take pressure off his nerves and stop the symptoms. 48 hours after the surgery the twitching and weakness got worse.
The neurologist Bobby was seeing at that time had less than ideal bedside manners when it came to what he thought was wrong so Michele did a bit of legwork, made phone calls and within a few days they were on their way to an appointment to see Dr. Nicholas Maragakis at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. On April 3, 2017, Bobby was officially given the devastating diagnosis of ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known by many as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ALS is fatal and currently there is no cure.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. It makes the brain stop talking to the muscles, the muscles throughout the body atrophy and die which leads to complete paralysis over time. Ultimately, ALS patients become prisoners held inside their body. As if that’s not horrible enough, the disease does not affect your sight, your hearing, or your mind so patients are fully aware of what is happening all along.
On their 3-hour drive home from Baltimore to Richmond, Virginia, they were in complete shock. As the days passed, the emotions evolved from shock to overwhelming upset that turned into raging anger. That anger grew into full blown fight mode with the goal to fill the future they had left together, however long that may be, with memory making adventures, spending time with family, friends and LIVING life with ALS.
All too often, we focus on what we “can’t” do in situations versus identifying what we “can” do! There’s no way to change Bobby’s diagnosis, but we CAN do our best to FIGHT back against what the disease is doing to him and make the most of every day.
Bobby will tell you, “My LIFE doesn’t suck, my circumstances do! My LIFE is amazing, beautiful and full of love and support. I am blessed.”
ALS was first discovered 150 years ago in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn’t until 1939 that Yankees baseball player Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the disease.
In 2018, in Ada, Michigan, EIGHT YEAR OLD Miss Kennedy Arney was diagnosed with juvenile ALS. JUST SEVEN at the time, she became the youngest person diagnosed with the illness in the United States as of September 14, 2019.
Every 90 minutes, someone is diagnosed with ALS and someone dies from it.
About 90 percent of ALS cases occur without any family history. The remaining 10 percent of ALS cases are inherited through a mutated gene.
Half of all people affected with ALS live between three and five years. Twenty percent live five years or more. Up to 10 percent will live more than 10 years.
60% of ALS patients are men. Military veterans are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS.