HUNT FOR A CURE – CJD
5th Annual 5k Run/Walk: In Memory of Jon Fansler and All Those Lost to CJD
Jon Fansler, husband of 25 years, father of two, and
grandfather of three was taken by CJD on September
19, 2012. Jon was a normal, healthy, active man who
enjoyed his family and the outdoors. We would walk
three (3) miles a night and joined the gym. He
would do 150 sit-ups a night giving me a hard time
because I would only do 25. In March 2012, he
started stumbling and had trouble walking. The
doctors thought he had Parkinson's disease. The
walking and balance problems continued to worsen,
along with his memory and reaction time. This
resulted in him no longer being able to drive.
Physical therapy started and was discontinued in
only one month as his legs and conditions
worsened (Going from walking with a cane in April,
to a walker in May, a motorized scooter in June, and
a wheelchair in July). A new MRI revealed the
diagnosis of CJD on July 17, 2012.
Jon turned 50 in August and by the end of August could not get up on his own. He had to be picked up by me or other members of the family. Jon's reflexes, along with his memory, continued to worsen. He even had hallucinations. Jon passed away in September at home in his chair. The time frame from the significant behavior and physical changes was six (6) months and from diagnosis to death in nine (9) weeks (This is why they call the disease aggressive).
We were fortunate; Jon still knew each one of us until the end. Many do not know their family members at the end. Jon was still able to eat on his own with minimal assistance. Many patients stop swallowing and cannot have hydration or nutrition. Others go into a coma! We were lucky in some aspects because we did not experience that, but watching him deteriorate everyday knowing this was fatal and there was nothing we could do to stop or treat his condition, knowing that death was inevitable was extremely difficult.
We, as his family, are passionate about raising awareness and helping those who are must watch/endure their loved one being affected by CJD. We have put together this 5k walk/run which will take place Saturday, August 5th, 2017 at Blue River Park (725 Lee Blvd. Shelbyville, IN) to raise awareness and help fund research on CJD. Proceeds from this event will be donated directly to the Awareness and Research of CJD in loving memory of Jon Fansler.
Although we cannot bring Jon back, we can take on his fight to help others. Letting everyone know that this horrific disease exists and also help the researchers in their work to find a cure.
"Alone we are rare; together we are strong"
- Rhonda Fansler (Wife of Jon Fansler)