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Iraq vet facing tough battle against ALS

By Kylee Cruz, KXLY4 Reporter, kyleec@kxly.com
Published On: Oct 30 2013 08:51:46 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 30 2013 09:01:50 PM CDT
SPOKANE, Wash. -

After serving as a combat medic in Iraq, Dan Curran's family thought the toughest part of his life was behind him. Now the Spokane husband and father of two is facing a much bigger battle after being diagnosed with ALS.

Dan Curran is a loving husband, a dad to two beautiful young girls and is fighting a disease with no known cure that's slowly destroying his body.

But Curran is determined to not let this terminal illness define him nor is he waiting for the disease to kill him. Instead he's living every day to the fullest. Each day is filled with little moments that Curran cherishes; priceless memories with his wife Debra and daughters Leia and Emma that he wishes could last forever.

"It was devastating. It was our worse fears come to life," Curran said.

About a year ago he started noticing tremors in his legs.

"It was strange that all the sudden, my legs would just start shaking, started out minor here and there," he said.

But then, it got worse, so he went to the doctor to find out what was wrong. The diagnosis came back last month: Dan Curran has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

"We knew it was something neurological and ALS was worst case scenario for us," Curran said.

Curran is just 28 years old and is now facing issues with maintaining his balance and simple things like grabbing and holding onto something.

"It's difficult. I can't go on walks, I can't run around the park with them," he said.

ALS may someday take his speech and movement but it won't take his will to fight. As a combat medic who served 15 months in Iraq, he's used to facing tough battles, but now he's facing his biggest battle against a new enemy.

"I have been a fighter my whole life. I fought in the military, I've been though some scary stuff, this is just another road bump and I'm going to fight it until I can't fight it anymore," he said.

"I'm not giving up, it's not a death sentence."

He's focused on living in the moment and his dream right now is to take his family to Disney World.

"With this time crunch I don't know how much longer I am going to walk, now the goal is we want to get there as soon as we can," he said.

You can help Curran take his family to Disney World. This Friday there is a spaghetti feed to raise money for their trip. The feed is being held at the Eagles Lodge at 6410 N. Lidgerwood from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. You can also donate to a fund set up in Curran's name at Numerica Credit Union.

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