Chuck's wife; [email protected]
Find out more about Chuck here;
In Memory of Chuck Jipp
1951 - 2000
Our customer first (1980), a friend soon after, our accountant since '84, a F.S. team member since '86, and my brother in law since '94.
Chuck was one of the founders
of the Clive Running Festival and Dam to Dam. He was also a Charter member of the
Capital Striders Running Club.
Fitness Sports would not exist as it is today without his help.
We (I) will miss him!
At about 8:30 this evening Chuck passed on to be with his Lord. Those of us who loved him know he is once again out running. He died peacefully.
This update is a long time coming because Chuck seems to have basically stabilized for the past few months.
Now on a ventilator and unable to move any part of his body except his face, he communicates by blinking and looking at letters on a chart. Lori then trys to tell which letter he is focused on. His spirits are good and his christian faith is strong.
Chuck enjoys your emails so please write, and if you have the opportunity, drop by to see him. He can only handle a guest for a few minutes at a time, but it does brighten his day.
Below is a nice letter that Chuck received this past month, no-wonder he's fighting so hard;
My freshmen year of high school, I tried myself at cross-country and it turned out that I really enjoyed it. After my friends and I did THE RACE FOR THE CURE, I started receiving more information on races. I have participated in the races that are held solely for fun and the ones benefiting the awareness and increasing funds for certain diseases. I love those races that are done to benefit an organization for some specific diseases because it makes me strive to do better in my running but also as a person for those who are less fortunate than I.
When I first received the brochure for GIVE A DAM FOR CHUCK, I read it front to back, something I normally don't do. You are truly an amazing person with many accomplishments. I know running is a sport that is almost all mental and to run faster and longer than you think you can, has to mean that you are an extremely mentally strong person.
Just in this past week a wrote a paper for English class on how some people don't see how well a personís mind is functioning because of some physical barriers or setbacks. My grandfather died in October of í98 of a very rare disease where brain cells die out very quickly. He couldn't see very well, talk well, nor walk much because when he would tell his body to do something, the messages wouldn't go through properly. But inside, my grandpa was thinking all the time, very intelligently and alive, but most of my family didn't see it because they only saw the physical side of him. To me,
the mind is much more important to have than the physical aspects although they are also important. But without my mind, I wouldn't have any emotion of happiness or memories.
Your story has been told and it has definitely inspired me and I'm sure many others to help out and do whatever they and I can do. You are absolutely a remarkable, astounding, and wonderful person. You should know that you are and I would just like to thank you for inspiring me and also, for sharing the story of your life with others in the way that you have.
HS Female Junior
Chuck has now lost the use of his right hand. He had been able to write a little note once in a while with it or ring a bell for help. This has been a setback but his spirits are still high. The kids from the church have been helping Lori with the yard and a group of her friends are taking her out tomorrow evening. With Chuck no-longer being able to communicate, he needs in room attention now all the time.
He sure appreciates the messages and his eyes light up for his visitors. His faith remains strong.
It's hard to believe how much better Chuck is doing since he gotten home. It appears that the desease has stabilized for the time being and is no-longer progressing like it was for the past two years.
His forty ninth birthday is coming up on March 25th and we're hoping to plan a little celebration. If you would like to wish him "Happy Birthday", click on the link above. He really appreciates all the support he has gotten from his many friends. God Bless You All!
Chuck is home now and Lori is getting some help. Nursing care comes for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, however Lori is responsible the rest of the time. She is able to get out some and also has help from Chuck's sister Barb, a neighbor who's a nurse, Christy, her friend Nancy from their church and her sister, Nancy Lavender. She is working 4 hours a day at home and going in 4 hours an day.
Chuck's spirits are much better since he's gotten back home and he seems to be resting comfortably. His condition seems to have stabilized and he still has some use of his right hand. He greatly appreciates the emails and jokes which you all send and which Lori reads to him.
Chuck is back home. He seems a lot more comfortable and will be able to see your messages more frequently. He will have a nurse about 6 hrs a day during the week. Lori will be busy the rest of the time. We're praying.
Chuck has been released out of Intensive Care and is staying in a normal room at the hospital until Jan 3rd. They wanted to make sure that nothing would go wrong with any of his special machines over Y2K. He is scheduled to come home on Monday Jan. 3rd. We are all prying or the best as he has been in the hospital for over a month. If you get a chance send him a welcome home e mail at the link above.
Chuck has remained at Mercy for the past three weeks and they have put him on a ventilator. He has been receiving quite a few tests and very much appreciates it. The nurses have been training family members in how to care for him and his new equipment and we are hoping he will be able to be home for Xmas. He seems in good spirits and was able to convey though hand signals what he wanted to get Lori for her birthday last week. He surprised her completely with a beautiful bracelet.
Chuck wishes the best of holidays to all of you and is grateful for your prayers.
12/2/99 Went to see him this evening and he seemed to be resting peacefully. He smiled at a couple of jokes, however the tube is still uncomfortable until the healing completes. He will be moved to a extended care facility in Ankeny , probably Monday, before coming home at the end of next week.
12/1/99 Chuck is currently undergoing surgery to have a tracheal tube put in so that he can breathe more effectively. He went into surgery at about 5:20PM. He came out of the surgery fine and was resting peacefully Wed. evening. He is at Mercy Hospital in D.M and hope to leave over the weekend.
Hello from Chuck Jipp #2 (11/14/99)
Thanks again to Lori for making the keyboards sing for this e-mail. I have
pretty much given up on my computer because it is so difficult, but Lori
checks my e-mail for me and either reads it to me or prints it.
Things continue to change, unfortunately too fast. My right arm has lost
about half of its range of motion. I can notice now it is work to write, so
I print slowly with breaks.
I have been using an oxygen machine at night. I am going to have to use my
cpap respirator though because it is becoming very hard to breathe when
laying in bed.
I sometimes laugh at all the contraptions I have. I sleep in a hospital bed.
Next to the bed I'm surrounded by an automatic feeding machine for water, my
wheelchair with my urine bag attached, a walker with a basket holding a mouth
sponge and bed control, and the oxygen machine with yet another hose attached
to me. And add to that my cpap machine soon to come. It's a good thing we
remodeled our bedroom and bathroom. Even so, we are still pretty packed in.
My most annoying thing now is when I lay down flem builds up in my throat and
is very difficult to get down. It is especially bad in the morning, and for
the first few hours I swallow and swallow trying to get it down. I am
fearful of choking because I can't cough it out, my lungs aren't strong
enough. Once or twice a day I get a tickle in my throat and it totally gags
me. Luckily it doesn't last too long, but it is painful.
One thing stays the same- my butt hurts! Sit + sit + sit = sore. Most of
the time I am pretty comfortable in my reclining chair, although I have to
sit up every hour or so. For those times I am not comfortable, it is
torture. Sitting and not being able to adjust myself, get up, stretch, or
My speech is almost completely gone, most of the time I don't even try. So
for now I write.
I think my sense of smell has increased. I can really notice the food
fragrances when I can't eat. Almost makes my mouth salivate.
Things have eased up a little for Lori now that Hospice comes 6 times a week.
They wash and dress me and do range of motion. That usually takes an hour
and a half. My legs feel alot better now that I am getting the range of
motion. They were starting to hurt just bending them, but have now loosened
I am so glad the weather is staying warm. I am not looking forward to cold
weather because I get cold easily now. I think it's because my muscles have
atrophied and blood does not flow as well. Also I am pretty thin, probably
weigh 165 or less. My arms and legs are like spider legs. I had "grown" out
of my 34" waist blue jeans, and was in 37"! Now the 34's are roomy at the
waist, the 37's are way too big. I guess if you want to lose weight don't
eat cookies, ice cream or chips!
My reading is going o.k. with books cut up by chapter. I have plenty to read
Our church is studying the Book of Revelation in the weekly service and even
though I can't go any more that reminds me of my favorite prayer: By the
gracious gift of my savior Jesus, I want to leap like a dear down the streets
of gold in Heaven and joyfully sing "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God
Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come". Thank-you to those of you
praying for me. That is my total source of strength and protection from fear.
As always, don't worry about answering this. I thought as long as I can
write I will try to update you every 2 weeks or so.
Hello from Chuck Jipp #1 (11/1/99)
Lori is good to type this second letter to you, to let you know how things
are going. Unfortunately, things keep changing faster than I would like.
We are now using my feeding tube 100% of the time. I can no longer
swallow without the risk of aspiration. My cough is not strong enough to
cough out something going down my trachea, so I don't risk it. I tried a
shake a week ago, and it made me cough too much, so I gave up. We now have a
feeding machine that Lori hooks up to me to pump water in me night and day.
I can now keep hydrated. So I have a tube pumping water in, and a tube
(condom catheter) to pump water out! I'm already getting tired of the same
liquid food being pumped into me. I would love an oatmeal cookie.
My ability to talk is now gone except for a few words. Even Lori cannot
understand me. It's tough to have a fully active mind with plenty to say,
but unable to say it. Every wish, expression, thought, is suppressed.
I don't go out much anymore. My wheelchair has become very uncomfortable and
I get a backache after about 15 minutes. Plus when I am straight up or bent
a little forward in the wheelchair, I have a hard time breathing. I don't
mind staying home. I am content spending afternoons and evenings in my
recliner. Thank God for VCRs. I can watch Monday afternoon Dr. Who and
StarBase One that I taped Friday night. Tuesday I watch the second half of
Monday night football. Wednesday a Tues. night basketball game. Thurs. &
Fri. golf is usually on. See, I've got it all figured out!
We now have hospice people from InTrust coming 3 or 4 times a week. That
helps Lori alot. They wash me, dress me, and do range of motion movements on
my legs and arms. The range of motion feels wonderful. Especially after
laying in bed on my back for 13 hours without moving. The hospice people
also try to help with light housekeeping.
I read in a ALS newsletter today that a phase III study of neurontin, which
is a drug I was taking, has been determined to be ineffective against ALS.
Nothing new to me, I guess. It did help cut down involuntary muscle
twitches, and my crying. Since I quit taking the drug because I couldn't
swallow it, muscles in my legs and arms twitch 24 hours a day, also I cry 5
or 6 times a day- not at my situation, but at other situations or thoughts.
That is common with ALS, I guess. I'm not disappointed. There is no drug
that cures or helps ALS that much.
My reading is becoming less and less, I can handle about 10 to 20 pages at a
time, Lori cuts my paper backs into chapters so I have less to handle with
We have our times when things become very testing and frustrating. Just ask
Lori for some stories. But once the dust settles I am at peace, through
prayer and belief in Jesus. Lately I have been dreaming more and more about
walking and standing up. I will walk again, through the gates of Heaven.
I still haven't used my c-pap respirator. We got nose pillows to use, which
is like a snorkel only it goes into your nose, the mask I had was very
uncomfortable. I guess I keep putting it off, losing one more thing.
I still wake up 4 or 5 times a night with my mouth as dry as paper. Lori
sets up a mouth sponge for me to pop in my mouth to get moisture back. So as
you can see, my life is filled with gadgets, tubes, appliances & adaptions.
Lori is now working half days at home and half days at the office. It is
working out very nicely.
I don't expect you to answer this. I noticed yesterday it was very difficult
for me to lift my hand to the computer. So please, don't expect me to answer
any e-mails you send.
I don't have trouble reading your e-mail.
My love to you all-