“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
When I was growing up, my Dad could not drive me to sports practice like the other fathers in my neighborhood. He could not pick me up in his arms, and he could not walk. I helped feed my dad dinner and combed his hair. I would sit for hours by his wheelchair talking to him about my day. His speech was slurred and at times I struggled to comprehend what he was saying. But the life message he sent me was loud and clear.

Watching my Dad courageously battle ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) for over twenty years taught me how precious life is. His death shortly before I started school made me realize that I want to devote my life to helping patients like my father. School has helped me determine how I can make an impact. I will follow this passion by applying my business experience and education to the healthcare industry and non-profits to improve the quality of life for patients like my father.

Although he was given a death sentence at age 42, my Dad remained positive and focused on his passion for life. My Dad's own motto was: "This disease may ultimately kill me, but it will never defeat me." Dad was never defeated and I plan to ensure that the disease will not kill additional people. I will honor my Dad's legacy by not only helping to cure ALS, but by living my life according to the example he set. By following my passion, I know I will find happiness and meaning.

— Allison Kotzin