HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Huntsville is home to nationally recognized hero Rick Isaacs. But you won’t find Rick in a cape or chasing after bad guys. No, Rick Isaacs is a hero living, not dying, with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS.
Each day he's bursting with a passion for life and a mission to serve others.
Isaacs has had ALS for two and a half years and the disease hasn’t slowed him down in any way.
"I just love life,” said Isaacs. “I love to do things. Maybe I can’t do the same things I used to do but I still can do things, you know."
His sweet ride, or wheelchair, is decked out with #TeamRick logos. A remote-controlled chair is his lifeline allowing him to traveling all across the country as a National Research Ambassador with the ALS Association.
"I figured I had a lot of skills that served me well in business and working with the army and department of defense. I figured I can put those skills to good use," explained Isaacs.
Isaacs says supporting the ALS community is now his calling. He's raised more than $75,000, does speaking engagements, participates in clinical trials, and he’s even helped rewrite guidelines for clinical research for the FDA to streamlining the process.
"Because the only way we will find a cure is to encourage those of us with ALS to participate in clinical trials so they can move forward,” said Isaacs.
This February Isaacs received national attention being named ‘A Hero Living with ALS.’ He was one of four people in the nation to receive the award.
"I actually got to meet Rene Zellweger and I did get a kiss on the cheek from her," bragged Isaacs.
When he's not schmoozing with Rene, he councils people at the Crestwood ALS Care Clinic and other clinics he’s able to personally visit. Once Isaacs is home, he councils people all across the world online. He can still type, but it's a challenge. To even lift an arm requires a great effort. However, Rick’s mind is as sharp and as good as it ever was.
"I'm still alive, still vibrant. I still can do things and I'm not going to let any of this get in my way. I don't want pity or sympathy," said Isaacs.
Well Rick, you won’t get that here, but you will be admired as a hero.