CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Being the primary caregiver for a loved one with ALS can be stressful and a full-time job.
Those who know Linda Greer of Chesterfield call her "Wonder Woman." The 77-year-old goes above and beyond everyday, often putting her own needs on the back burner, to make sure her veteran husband Mark gets the best care possible.
"He can't walk anymore," said Linda. "His hands don't work really well, so everything has to be done for him."
Greer only has about 25 hours to herself a month, when friends and church volunteers drive Mark to his treatment at VCU Health’s Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Wellness Center.
May is ALS awareness month, and, with the help of Virginia Credit Union, Caroline Coleburn surprised Greer with $150 to get her hair done and a $50 Visa gift card as part of this week's CBS 6 Gives.
"You think we're here to do a story about ALS and what it means," Coleburn told Greer in front of her husband and close friends. "But we're actually here for another reason. We wanted to honor you on behalf of everyone at CBS 6, because you do so much for your husband and you mean so much to everyone in this room. Use this to get your hair done and to get yourself to a manicure or something special. You deserve it."
"I thought you guys were here to share Mark's journey," Greer exclaimed. "Oh, oh, wow. And a gift card too. Wonderful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Well, I'll have my highlights done next time!"
Coleburn asked Greer her advice to other caregivers and people struggling with ALS.
"We had one lady in our support group way, way back, her husband had died," said Linda. "And her advice to everybody was don't worry about all the other things. If I had it to do over I'd spend more time with him. Let the other things go because they'll still be there. That's our philosophy."
While two to five years is the typical life expectancy for someone with ALS, mark is in his fifth year of treatment and is doing well.
Watch for a new CBS 6 Gives surprise each Monday on CBS 6 News at 4 and 6 p.m. Have an idea about who we should surprise next, click here to email our team.
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