Reflections by David Garber

Dear Supporters of David’s Old Silver Swim,

I am a fortunate man. When I was diagnosed with ALS in 2009, I understood that my life as I knew it would end. I had always been an active person: swimming, dentistry, gardening, always rushing. At times I saw what I would lose (the ability to walk, feed myself, and speak), but I came to see what I had to gain.

I am living in a different world from the one I’d inhabited pre-diagnosis. No longer dashing out to swim before dinner, but getting pleasure from walks through my neighborhood. I relish being with family and friends as they eat, talk, play games while I enjoy my meal through a feeding tube. I love my caregivers and learn so much from them. My life is full: concerts, dining out, plays, community events, even travel. Bit by bit, I developed a new, vibrant life. Little did I know just how much I would be able to thrive, still living large 13 years after my diagnosis.

Fundraising for Compassionate Care ALS, the organization that has done so much for me and for others living with ALS, has been a cause I’ve committed to since my diagnosis. CCALS is an essential resource for those living with ALS, from providing wheelchairs and communication devices to offering emotional and community support. At a time when fundraising has become more diffuse and challenging, their work and needs persist.

Most people who are diagnosed with ALS aren’t lucky enough to mark their 5th, much less their 10th anniversary with the disease. Despite all the physical and emotional challenges that come with ALS, many of which were amplified during COVID, we are now looking ahead to the 12th Annual David’s Old Silver Swim. I am so excited to cheer on the swimmers at the Sea Crest Hotel on Old Silver Beach on August 13. Swim registration and an opportunity to donate can be found at our website at

I know that I am a fortunate man. I cannot thank you enough for your past generosity and support. It’s what keeps me going, keeps CCALS going, and I hope we can count on you again.