Man with ALS dedicates life to loving family, spreading awareness

Posted at 12:57 PM, Apr 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-27 17:33:50-04

GREEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Paul Rinderknecht has learned to appreciate the little things in life, like taking his children to school everyday until his body won’t allow him. 

Rinderknecht, 44, knows he'll eventually be robbed of his mobility. He was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, two years ago. But that hasn't stopped him from dedicating his life to loving more deeply and spending time with family. 

Rinderknecht has another priority: Raising awareness for the neurological disease. 

“We do what we can every single day to love one another, realize what's important, maximize our time together and then for now, my purpose now is this mission of awareness,”  Rinderknecht said. 

With his 6-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son in mind, he has been to Washington D.C. to rally in favor of terminally ill patients trying experimental therapies. 

“In my mind, I am dedicated to the fact that I will do everything I can now so that if, god forbid, my kids are diagnosed one day, their prognosis will be different,” Rinderknecht said. 

Rinderknecht is losing mobility in his right hand and uses a ventilator to help him breathe when he sleeps. 

“We don't look back because we can't change what happened,” Rinderknecht said. “We don't look forward because those are tough, my progression and where you end up is a tough thing to wrap your head around."

Despite this, Rinderknecht speaks at public events. He spends time with his kids, and he loves his wife. 

“I know my path, I'm certain that my end will come sooner than I wish,” Rinderknecht said. “But it's, find out what's important and maximize everyday … simplify things. If you can do that, you'll live a fulfilled life."