GREENFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — People across Indiana are donating money to a Greenfield man with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
The disease, which weakens muscles and limits physical function, has no cure and doctors say the man has less than two years to live.
David Barkes has been driving himself to his doctor’s appointments but he’s already struggling to walk and doctors say he eventually won’t be able to walk at all. His family says, at that point, he’ll need a wheelchair accessible van to make his appointments.
“My doctor gave me six months to two years and it’s been just been just about six months so I’ve made the first hurdle,” Barkes said.
An electronic billboard company called Geft Outdoor LLC is running ads just off I-70 asking people to donate to Barkes so he can buy a wheelchair accessible van.
“He needs about $22,000 dollars more,” Geft consultant Bo Haygood said. “Somebody’s going to step up and just pay the whole thing off. Somebody’s going to make that happen.”
One of Barkes’ close friends asked the company to run the ads. Those same friends set up a fundraiser at HelpDaveBarkes.com to raise $50,000. Thursday evening, the tally stood around $28,000.
“The surprising result of all of this, it’s really lifted my spirits a whole lot,” Barkes said.
Barkes is a husband and a father of four—his youngest is 16 years old. The family usually takes a vacation but without a van that won’t be possible.
He says he’d like to see the ocean one last time with his family.
“I am so grateful for all the support I’ve gotten,” Barkes said. “I will remember their kind words.”
Barkes said he’s hearing words of encouragement from old friends, classmates and coworkers. He worked for years as a nurse at Community North.