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Nate Moats gets a much needed visit... | Community Spirit

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Nate Moats gets a much needed visit...
Nate Moats gets a much needed visit...


You probably all remember Nate Moats who was diagnosed earlier this year with ALS and has been on a crazy medical rollercoaster all year.
I was told that Nate, who usually never has visible down days, had a couple of bad weeks and was feeling low. People were asking if there was something I could do to cheer him up.

I called a dear mutual friend and discussed. I only had one idea: Hooters Girls.

I know it was a crazy thought but Nate loves their food and he loves the ladies. I don't know anyone there but made a call and Jesse from Hooters got back to me, asking: “What can I do for you?” So I explained about the Extreme Team and Nate Moats and his ALS and then I asked: “Could I get a couple of Hooters' Girls to go see Nate and just spend a little time with him? It would rock his world.” And Jesse asked: “What day and what time and I'll see what I can do.” I suggested Tuesday around noon and Jesse said: “sure I'm in.” I love those words...I'm in. Translation, we get it.

Get it they do, Hooter girls Gabrielle and Rachel were early.  They sat in a car on the side of the road when we pulled up and motioned them over. After brief introductions we head into Nate’s house and the smile on his face was just amazing. The visit was a success already,  he grinned from ear to ear.  Normally this would be the end for me: Nate is cheered up, mission is accomplished.  But today that wasn’t the case. Before I even introduce the young ladies and all the gifts they brought, Nate is trying hard to calm down in order to be able to talk. And then he asks: "How's Dan?"  I said: “what?” And Nate asks again: "How's Dan, who you helped?”

It slowly dawns on me that Nate is asking about Dan Curran. Dan is a wounded warrior with a new diagnoses of ALS.

Nate goes on about how worried he is about Dan and all he wants to know is how he is doing. Once again I am amazed by this man, who is in a wheelchair and facing daily challenges many of us can’t even imagine, yet his thoughts always go out to others. I'm moved and I am in awe of Nate’s generosity and compassion. I tell him quickly how Dan is doing and that I will make sure to pass on his number. And then we get to introduce him to the wonderful Hooters Girls. Nate is so appreciative, and they give him a calender in which a Spokane girl is in the month of April and some cards. They hug him and smile and wave as they leave, seeming to have enjoyed themselves.

Now we talk about Dan and about Nate and what’s going on. I ask Nate what’s up with the drama and rough days? Why is he having such a hard time?

Nate tells me he has made a decision that upsets many but that is comforting to him: He has decided NOT to have a feeding tube, a decision that will cut his time on this earth substantially shorter, leaving less time with family and friends. Things are beginning to make sense to me. We don’t dwell on the feeding tube issue, we talk about many different things, but also about Nate’s frustrations with this horrific disease and how difficult it sometimes is to make it through the challenges. He sums it up: "Do you know what sucks the most?" I'm not sure. I can come up with about a thousand things that suck about ALS, just sitting there next to Nate, and then he says: "Not being able to pick your own nose."

He laughs. And I'm cracking up. It feels like the optimistic Nate is back, for now. He knows he has harder times ahead but for today he is back on track and fighting the boredom from sitting in his chair all day.

Big hugs and promises for a visit next week. I look forward to it, he amazes me. I gain at least as much, if not more, from these visits as he does.

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