The journey Siobhán is on ...

Background to Siobhán's ALS story ...

Siobhán with her husband, Tom, and children: Dominik (4 months), Ella (2 years), and Jérémie (20 years), October 2011

In September 2011 my daughter, Siobhán, was diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Being a fitness instructor at the University of Ottawa as well as a primary school teacher for
many years, a woman filled with zest and with life, the news was quite a shock for everyone. What subsequently became even more obvious to everyone was her incredibly inspirational
approach to life … and now, to her dying.

True to Siobhán’s character, she wanted to get the public’s awareness about the debilitating effects of ALS. As such Siobhán has become an incredible spokesperson for ALS Canada, Ontario, and Ottawa and has raised thousands of dollars. The picture of Siobhán above was taken on October 27, 2012, one day after her 41st birthday. The babies are now 1 and 3 years‐old. In addition to the CBC news interview, she had also been interviewed by CTV under their category of “Amazing People.” The day after her birthday was CTV's "Amazing People" Gala Awards banquet at the new Convention Centre in Ottawa, Canada, for all the 2012 nominees. A gathering of 600 people attended. She said the food was incredible, the socializing wonderful, and she was even able to “dance” after dinner in her motorized wheelchair.

Siobhán has now lost much of her physical abilities. She can still talk, move her arms somewhat, and smile the most beautiful smile in the world. I have gathered together the pages below the different interviews, stories, and videos of her ALS journey to date. A professional woman named Laurie Smith has volunteered her time to record videos of Siobhán’s journey for as long as she’s with us. They are on YouTube and listed below. Each is called “Conversations with Siobhan.” Do click “Subscribe” on YouTube and Laurie herself will make sure you get a reminder of the next video in the series. Below, you can click on the Title or website.


  1. Fundraising Run: Siobhán’s Team Fighting ALS (Oakville, Ontario), November 5, 2011

  2. Western Catholic Reporter (newspaper, Edmonton, Alberta), November 28, 2011

  3. CBC interview, “Ottawa Mother Copes with ALS” (Ottawa, Ontario), March 9, 2012
    [The video interview will appear on its own at the webpage]

  4. Aerobic-A-Thon for ALS (University of Ottawa), March 11, 2012

  5. CTV “Amazing People” Interview (Ottawa, Ontario), May 4, 2012

  6. Radio-Canada Interview (Ottawa, Ontario), June 10, 2012
    Ce soir à 19h [mai], une veillée est organisée sur la Colline du Parlement par l'organisation de Sclérose latérale amyotrophique, mieux connue sous le nom de la Maladie de Lou Gerigh. Entrevue avec Siobhán Rock, personne atteinte de la maladie.

    [Note: once at the website, scroll down to “Vigile au Parlement” to listen in French. You will need to download the simple “SilverLight” software from Microsoft. Do this by clicking on “Télécharger” (or ‘download’). Once installed, the audio interview will start. You will listen to a lovely interview in French with Siobhán about ALS and the politics of insufficient federal funding.]

  7. CTV’s “Amazing People” Gala Awards Evening YouTube video, Convention Centre, Ottawa, Ontario), first 23 seconds, October 27, 2012 [see picture below]

    Siobhán (to the left, dressed in her new evening gown, in her motorized wheelchair) at CTV's "Amazing People" Gala Awards evening, Ottawa, Ontario, October 27, 2012, one day after her actual birthday, now age 41

  8. Sarah Nolette, Sports Editor, "Aerobic-A-Thon for ALS," Fulcrum (University of Ottawa Student Newspaper), March 12, 2012
    [A tribute and story on Siobhán’s last aerobics class in May 2011 after the onset of ALS. Nolette writes, "While excited about the event and happy to relate her story, Rock said it’s important individuals realize ALS is a disease people continue to suffer from every day, and the mission of finding a cure is an ongoing one"]

  9. ALS Canada video, “Make Moments Matter” (Ottawa, Ontario), 2012

    [An interview made by ALS Canada that highlights Siobhán’s story and that is used to promote awareness of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) as it progresses with its debilitating effects and fatal outcome]

    * Go now to YouTube Video series button on home page

  10. Aerobic-A-Thon for ALS (University of Ottawa), March 24, 2013

 


 

Raising Awareness of Motor Neurone disease (MND)

[Laura Yell's website information on Siobhan's e-mail to Laura asking persmission to write up and make aware some of the material on ALS/MND]

 


 

Connecting with Other PALS

The Team Gleason Experience writes the following: it "is a blog where we not only share Steve, Michel and Rivers' life adventures but also The Gleason Initiative Foundation funded adventures for ALS patients and events other Team Gleason friends are doing to raise public awareness. If you'd like to share a story please email teamgleason37@gmail.com."

A website worth looking at.