Lehigh Valley

Brett Snyder and family will never give up

NEW TRIPOLI, Pa. - If you're a member of the Snyder family, you're pretty good at swinging at whatever is thrown your way.

It started early with dad, Brett.

He played baseball and football at Northwestern Lehigh High School and went on to be a standout football star at Lehigh University.

Then came the ALS diagnosis.

"It's hard not to get emotional when you talk about it," Carissa Snyder begins.

Carissa, Brett's wife, swung into the role of full-time care giver.

"We know firsthand the pain of losing the ability to walk, and losing the ability to eat and walk and dress yourself. We know how painful that is," she says.

Many ALS patients are told after diagnosis, they have three to five years left to live.

Brett has been slowly, steadily fighting for 15. Even as he lost his abilities, one by one, he adapted, like by using a tablet, which responds to his retina movements, and “speaks” for him.

He writes us a message on the tablet, and a few moments later, a speaker on the front of his wheelchair, tells us, "It started out as denial for me, but it's turned into extreme faith and hope for the future."

Hope is what recently encouraged them to seek out a doctor in California, who has an experimental stem cell treatment he wants Brett to try.

It's expensive and not covered by insurance, so on Friday, friends are holding a fundraiser.

Because this is it. As Brett typed out, “there is no plan B.”

“Things aren't important. Family is the thing we count on," Brett says.

"One of the things we've found is that when you forfeit the blessing, you forfeit the trial - you don't get both of them," Carissa says, adding, "So we often think like that, just think if we had given up."

If the treatment works, it could lead to reversal of the disease.

That leads to hope, hope for Brett to watch his boys on more summer nights, hope to watch his twins that he and Carissa are expecting to grow up.

So hope is what they hold onto.

"We just want to keep going…just having hope that there is a brighter future tomorrow," Carissa tells us.

So until tomorrow, the Snyder family, will keep swinging.

The fundraiser, "Never Give UP - Hope on the Horizon" is on Friday, June 16, 2017 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

It is being held at the Kingdom Life Family Center, 4333 Lime Kiln Road, Orefield, PA 18069.

If you cannot attend and would still like to donate, you can do so through Hark, an ALS charity organization.

Everything is tax deductible and the family will get 100% when people donate to Hark.

Please put Brett Snyder in the check memo and mail to:

Hark ALS
PO Box 6627
Hillsborough, NJ 08844

More information on Hark:
Tax ID #45-2768674


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