In 2015, Matt Wild, a 41-year-old former U.S. Marine, began experiencing strange feelings in his hands and arms.
It started with a sporadic loss of strength in his hands and grew to include tremors, shaking, and twitching in his arms, hands, shoulders, back, and chest.
He wasn’t experiencing pain, but showed signs of muscle deterioration. Nearly a year of diet change and healthy eating had not alleviated his symptoms.
Matt began exploring a cause or diagnosis of his condition in early 2015. In February 2015, Spokane’s leading neurologist Dr. Carlson confirmed the initial diagnosis that Matt has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
In the time since, Matt has learned much about ALS. His family and friends joined over 30,000 U.S. families that face this disease each year. ALS is a disease in which certain nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord slowly die. Over time, ALS makes it hard to walk, speak, eat, swallow, and breathe.
For a more detailed description of ALS, please visit WebMD to learn more.
While ALS is rare, military veterans are twice as susceptible to this disease as the general population.
As a former Marine who revels in the challenge of a seemingly impossible task, Matt wanted to be an inspiration for others battling ALS. Soon after his diagnosis, Matt came up with a slogan: “Uncrushable Spirit”.
Matt embodies that philosophy. Every day he shows his family, friends and the North Idaho community that although his diagnosis is a setback, he will not give up and will continue to look for blessings every day in his life.
Founded in 2015, Matt’s Place Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization created to assist PALS (People with ALS) and their families during their battle with ALS. Its ultimate intention is to provide hope, housing and assistance to families dealing with the ailments of motor neuron disease like ALS, including Parkinson's and SMA.
Matt’s Place hopes to raise funds through sales of Matt’s Place merchandise, fundraising events, and also by accepting cash and in-kind donations, which will be used for the resources, technology and assistive items PALS may need.
Through collaborating with other ALS foundations and like-minded organizations, Matt’s Place also hope to bring greater awareness to ALS, the need for better treatment options and – someday, hopefully soon -- a cure.
To date, Matt’s Place has raised over $100,000 dollars – including its first-annual golf tournament in July at Highlands Golf Course – and has provided needed resources and services to many families in the North Idaho community.