ALS has no treatment, no cure, no survivors: Waukesha mom shares her story: “I hope it helps others”

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WAUKESHA (WITI) -- This time last year, we were on the eve of the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge." For many, it was the first time they would learn what ALS really is -- a fatal disease, with no treatment and no cure. It can strike anyone at any time. It kills slowly -- destroying your body piece by piece, until you can no longer move, speak or swallow -- even breathe. Through it all, your mind remains clear. It's one thing to hear about ALS. It's another to live it. One year ago, FOX6 News began that journey with a mother in Waukesha.

May 19th, 2014.

Trickett Wendler

Trickett Wendler

"Hi. I'm Trickett Wendler. I grew up in Milton. It`s a little town just south of Madison. And I went on to move to Milwaukee where I ran into my high school sweetheart, and then we fell in love and got married, and started a family. I started a career shortly after I graduated with GE Healthcare. It was about a year ago in May. I was working a conference for GE and after a day I started limping," Trickett said.

June 3rd, 2014.

"The next day, I continued to limp, and my first step was going to the general practitioner. She recommended the neurologist next. And by the time that half hour was done it was, `Trickett, you probably very likely have ALS,'" Trickett said.

ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

"My husband`s sitting next to me, and he is pale, and the first thing that comes up in my mind is `what about my babies?' Most of the people, once I started to release this diagnosis out were immediately looking on their phones looking up, what is ALS? Or, how long`s the recovery on that? That was a pretty tough question to answer," Trickett said.

Trickett Wendler

Trickett Wendler

July 22nd, 2014.

"It is a terminal illness. There aren`t survivors from ALS. It is a disease that causes your brain to stop communicating to your nerves. Your nerves don't talk to your muscles anymore. Eventually you're not able to move or talk or -- breathing usually becomes the biggest problem. The prognosis if I`m lucky is two to four years," Trickett said.

Eventually, Trickett can no longer move her legs.

"You can see my legs are atrophied. I can feel where I'm going to lose some muscles next. It migrates up from my legs up to my torso and my arms and started to affect my swallowing and my speaking too," Trickett said.

September 2nd, 2014.

"I guess maybe the scariest part I`ve started to feel is this increased tension in my chest where the muscles are pulling and twitching and it`s actually caused shallowness in my breath," Trickett said.

The muscles in Trickett's upper body are shutting down.

"I really thought my breathing was going so well that I would probably lose my ability to speak before I would lose my ability to breathe. And the arms and my fingers, that's scary," Trickett said.

October 12th, 2014.

"There's no way I can push myself into a sitting position any longer. Right now my diaphragm is starting to push up against my lungs and forcing my lung capacity to decrease," Trickett said.

Trickett needs a machine to help her breathe.

Trickett Wendler

Trickett Wendler

"I've been wearing it probably at least four to five hours at night and three to four hours during the day. It`s really pretty scary. You think in numbers and how much you lose every week. And if I`m losing five percent every week, how much further can I go?" Trickett said.

January 21st, 2015.

"I try to be a trooper through most of it. But when you`re at a point where you really can`t take a breath, that really hits you like a brick. Now I am on an air machine. I will use it 24 hours a day. It helps push the air into my lungs where my muscles don`t work anymore. Since I saw you last, I completely lost my left arm and my right arm. I can no longer lift above my head. I`m unable to eat now either. I can`t swallow," Trickett said.

Trickett now relies on a feeding tube.

"It's pretty surreal. I feel like I'm outside my body somedays because two years ago I was dancing with my kids. I still got a little fight left in me," Trickett said.

February 4th, 2015.

"As long as I can talk about it I will, because there are five-thousand more people who are going to be diagnosed this year with ALS and I believe that if everybody out there really knew about ALS, if they saw what it does to somebody who was a healthy mom with a good career and great friends, and then all of a sudden this different path you can`t come back from, they would all say, 'what can I do to help?'" Trickett said.

Trickett is slowly suffocating.

"At this point in time, I know I`m drawing closer to the end," Trickett said.

Trickett Wendler

Trickett Wendler

March 4th, 2015.

"Right now my mind focuses a lot on staying alive. I wanted to show you what ALS does to a person`s body. This particular month I lost my right arm," Trickett said.

Trickett can no longer move anything below her neck.

"It`s gotten really scary, especially at night. Sometimes I'll wake up gasping for air, so I think I`m getting close -- so I wanted you to know. I hope my story has a lasting impression that helps others because I pray to God that this disease never happens to them because ALS doesn`t care who you are," Trickett said.

Trickett Wendler

Trickett Wendler

March 16th, 2015.

Trickett can no longer speak.

Two days later, Trickett's story ended.

ALS can strike anyone at any time.

There is no treatment.

There is no cure.

There are no survivors.

Trickett Wendler

Trickett Wendler


  • John Kettler

    This may be the most powerful story on ALS I have seen yet. Well done Mr. Hicks. This story should go national.

  • Angela Williams

    Her story had me in tears. Mrs. Wendler, was very brave and caring to share her life with us. Thank you for that. I prayed that our Lord will provide comfort for her family and friends.

    • Dee

      We too, were in tears. I learned so much from this♥ R.I.P. Trickett, you and Fox 6 have no idea how powerful this story is.♥ I never knew…just heard of this disease…..Thank you.

  • s holmes

    Never say never, I hope they can find a cure for this one along with leukemia that took a family member.

  • ....

    God bless her and her family. What an amazing time line truly made me think and had me in tears. Don’t take life and every breath your given for granted. Make every day count for what its worth. Thank you for sharing your story. Rest in peace.

  • exlonghauler

    Over the years I’ve lost two good friends to ALS, and a third has been diagnosed. Despite how devastating this is they all took it in the same brave manner as Trickett, just amazing how strong these people can be. For the sake of those who have or will have this terrible affliction, I hope someday there is a cure or at least a treatment to ease the horrible process of ALS.

  • Proud milwaukee

    We can all help by lending our support for stem cell research which holds promise for those inflicted with ALS as well as other neurological diseases.

  • stacy

    R.i.p. many prayers for her and her family….such a touching story her family should b proud…i dont know if i coukdve been that strong knowing my family is watching me go through that…that alone would kill me😢😢 hope god hold her in his hand and comforts the family with the other.

  • Melissa

    ALS Has NO Treatment, NO Cure, NO SURVIVORS! This is by far, the most articulate and visual explanation and honest truth to what ALS is, How it works, and Who it is taking away. Our family is living this reality, thousands of others are too. Thank you to the Fewell Family for sharing this <3 Trickett​ was an amazing human being, her spirit is still sharing and teaching and loving <3 PLEASE SHARE #weloverobirvine #NotQuietly #EndALS

  • barb

    This was a sad,but powerful story. I am sad that she had to suffer through that and sad those young kids lost their mother. Thank you for showing what ALS is and what it does.

  • Michelle

    In many cases ALS has been linked to late stage and untreated/ineffectively treated Lyme disease. ALS is a terrible disease. May she rest in peace.

  • Holly

    So sad story, her children should know how strong she is!
    Where’s the research, the experimental drugs?

  • KCS

    Trickett was my friend. I knew her from GE long before her diagnosis. She was so funny, and smart and beautiful and loved her family deeply. She was the bravest person I have ever met. We love you Trickett and we are so sorry.

  • theresa

    As a hospice nurse I have taken care of 3 all patients. Day by day watch the horror in their face, asking how much longer. Sad so sad, it’s like a relief to the family when their torture is over. That is what it is torture. God bless her and her family.

  • cheryl

    So very sorry to hear. God bless Trickett for sharing her sorrowful plight. Prayers and peace to her family.

  • Helle Berry

    July 6, 2011: tentative ALS diagnosis. August 8, 2011: ALS confirmed. March 26, 2012: our last goodby to Jack E. Berry, father of three young adult sons and a husband never to be forgotten.

  • Diane Askew

    Very powerful. Can hardly type through the tears. Brave woman. I may have chosen a more cowardly ending.

  • judy faust


    • Lisa

      I know Tealyn, Toryn, and Tanner. Als, you have taken my friend. Why? That’s all I ask myself. Why did you take her. She did nothing to you

  • Amy Edelman

    If anyone has this horrible disease, please seek out this place called Nature’s Cure in Catasauqua Pennsylvania! They work with the NES system. I think it can cure anything!
    I don’t sponsor them, but I do know what they are capable of.

  • Shanon Van Eperen

    ALS took my dad’s life at the age of 37. I was only 15 years old to swe people go through this just breaks my heart. And that’s why l walk every October.

  • Kathy

    I know an ALS survivor of sorts he is the longest living one I know, his body is done but he can even teach college class’s online, look into lee carpenter of childersburg, played football for auburn years ago and was a coach, amazing man!

  • Dee

    I am bawling. What an amazing young woman. My friend’s husband was diagnosed almost 2 years ago. He was young and healthy as well and has 3 kids. Prayers go to all of the families and friends affected by this horrible disease.

  • Debbie Werwinski

    Wow! The tears are just rolling down my face! That is an amazing piece about ALS! Watching that story is the closest that I think anyone can come to understanding what ALS is all about! I will pray that the family will find the strength to go on. Thanks for the informational story Brad Hicks!

  • Brenda Mattey

    Crying for all of them. ALS needs a cure. God bless those children and her children. RIP my dear.

  • Reagan 84

    RIP Trickett,thank you for sharing and may God watch over your family down here while you soar with the angels in Heaven. Well done Brad Hicks,touching story.

  • Robin

    My husband and best friend passed away from ALS 3 yrs ago…my heart still hurts! Every ALS patient I have met are so strong! Such a testament to their faith!!!

  • Juanita hinojosa

    My husband has Als right now he was 81 years he was diagnosed last June with this awful dieasze right now he’s not doing well he’s completely paralyzed right now he’s not doing good with his breathing. They also told us his chances living is one. Year it’s a year in two days last June to this June he will be 83 next week June 3,1934. All I wish that God hears my and hope that my husband feel better

  • Ozzy

    Rather than seeing these stories time after time and having our heart broken each time watching these people suffer what the heck is the government and FDA doing to help find a cure or atleast a treatment, seems like they just don’t care enough which is ridiculous, i say protest need to be held outside the Whitehouse everyday until the President himself grants fund to the ALS research which needs to be speeded up as fast as possible, many people can be saved !!!

  • Charlotte

    This story is so true. I lost my brother-in-law, Don to ALS on June 14, 2014. We need a cure for this terrible disease.

  • Rose

    Heartbreaking story , I feel so bad , I will say prayers for her family , She is in heaven with Jesus .

  • Jawwad Hafeez

    My heart went down with every paragraph, I counted months, hardly 10. A wonderful person, mom, wife, a human being suffered and lost to this ghastly beast, ALS. God bless u Trickett.
    We need to standup and act fast, we should convince and force Govts. to act, to take risks, allow experimental treatments, fund research. Time is not on our side. The humanity suffers every 90 minute when someone is diagnosed and someone dies of ALS.
    We should all support giving to ALS Research and also Push FDA for Accelerated Approval of Experimental Drugs.

  • Maria De La Noval

    This is my response to this video I saw today on Youtube:

    I love Brett’s deep thinking. He is a talker and good human being.
    The makings of a smart and sensible man. Carli – you are beautiful and we love you, you are important and we are glad you’re happy (y) (y)

    You both asked if we had any good cause for you both to mention and give public notice to and I immediately thought about ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. This time last year, we were on the eve of the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge.”

    For many, it was the first time they would learn what ALS really is — a fatal disease, with no treatment and no cure. It can strike anyone at any time.

    It kills slowly — destroying your body piece by piece, until you can no longer move, speak or swallow — even breathe. Through it all, your mind remains clear. It’s one thing to hear about ALS. It’s another to live it.

    JUST IMAGINE HOW SCARY….Loosing your basic body abilities, to move, type, and breathe! I know…my mom, died of this disease.


  • Angie Goodley

    My cousin lost her 41 year old husband to ALS. They told him it would take his life within 16 months of the diagnosis. He was two days shy of the 16 months when he lost the battle he worked so hard at surviving for. This is the worse disease!

Comments are closed.

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