In this episode, Katie Bauer sits down to talk about her life as a caregiver to her husband, Charlie, as he battled ALS,
while also being a mom to their young daughter, Grace. Charlie passed away in
2016 but Katie continues to advocate for those with ALS and helps fund research
at ALS TDI in an effort to find effective treatments and cures for ALS.
Charlie and Katie met while in the Navy stationed at NAS
Miramar in San Diego, California, in the early 90s. They started dating
in May of 1994 and were married 5 months later. Charlie was honorably
discharged on November 29, 1999 with the rank of Petty Officer Second Class,
having served more than seven years as an Avionics Technician. After
serving, Katie and Charlie settled in Texas, and after ten years of marriage, their
daughter, Grace, was born.
In April of 2013, Charlie started to notice a “numb patch”
on his tongue and slurred speech. After encouragement from Katie and his mother,
who was a nurse, Charlie saw a doctor and began a series of tests and was ultimately
diagnosed with bulbar onset ALS in July of that year. Katie became his primary
caregiver, allowing him to stay at home throughout his journey with ALS and be close
to their young daughter.
Charlie handled each stage of ALS with bravery and maintained
his infectious sense of humor throughout. Sadly, after three years, Charlie
passed away from ALS in October 2016. Despite seeing first-hand the devastation
that ALS can cause in a family, Katie chose to stay involved in the fight against
ALS and regularly hosts fundraisers to support research at ALS TDI and has
ridden in the Tri-State Trek for three
years running. She has recently written a book about her life as a caregiver and
other life lessons called ‘Finding my Reflections’.