Many know that my father fought ALS Lou Gehrig’s. What you don’t know is that many fought it with him. Kurt’s coworkers at Johnson Controls, formerly York International, played a beautiful role in his story.
Kurt’s life is a testimony to diligence, love, and care. What he gave, he received in return from his coworkers and everyone around him. As his body failed him, Kurt continued to work at JCI. He worked up until three weeks of his passing. Daily Kurt would be driven to work in a ramp van. He then would have a joystick harness placed around his neck and would use his lip to ‘drive’ his wheelchair into the office. His coworkers (in reality they were close friends), many of 20 years or more, would start-up his computer, place a microphone headset upon his ear, and jostle his wheel chair into position so that he could work.
Kurt would often need an arm or leg moved. Since he couldn’t do this himself someone would step in to make sure he was comfortable. His friends fed him lunch and his favorite candies — York Peppermint Patties. They kept an eye on the machine that helped him breathe, and suffered his many jokes. Many of his coworkers expressed to me their amazement at his great attitude. But they were and are a true testimony to the beauty of compassion and one of many reasons for Kurt’s prevailing upbeat persona.
When I received an email about JCI’s York Campus participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in honor of Kurt, I definitely wanted to be there to capture it. Thank you to everyone at JCI who helped and loved Kurt. Thank you for honoring him in this challenge. You are beautiful.