Ottawa·Photos

Family coping with ALS touched by outpouring of support

Alan Gustafson has seen his disease progress rapidly in the 14 or so months since he was diagnosed with ALS. The artist and metal worker can no longer work with metal, but he has begun creating giant painted canvasses in his studio. All In A Day's Alan Neal spent a chilly Friday morning with him and his family.

Alan Gustafson takes comfort in support he and his family have received since diagnosis

Alan and Jessica learned of his condition while she was still pregnant with their 14-month old boy Harvey. (Mario Carlucci/CBC)

Alan Gustafson has seen his ALS progress rapidly in the 14 months or so since his diagnosis. The artist and metal worker can no longer work with metal, but he has begun creating giant painted canvasses in his Mechanicsville studio.

All In A Day's Alan Neal spent a chilly Friday morning with him and his family, as they prepared for Welded Hearts, a community organized fundraiser on Saturday to help cover the mounting cost of his care, as well as for other families who are being aided by ALS Canada.

Alan's motorised ramp helps him get to the large backyard studio where he used to weld pieces for a variety of clients, including the local restaurants who are now stepping up to donate time, food and gift certificates. (Mario Carlucci/CBC)
Harvey looks on as his dad speaks to Alan Neal. (Mario Carlucci/CBC)
The large garage door entrance to Alan's studio. (Mario Carlucci/CBC)
Alan is wrapped in a blanket to help ward off the chilly November breeze. (Mario Carlucci/CBC)
Alan's studio has turned his welding studio into a painting studio in recent months. (Mario Carlucci/CBC)
The walls in Alan's studio and home feature his skateboards. (Mario Carlucci/CBC)
Alan uses a large bar that can hold paint or giant markers as he drives over canvasses to create his paintings. (Mario Carlucci/CBC)
(Mario Carlucci/CBC)
(Mario Carlucci/CBC)
(Mario Carlucci/CBC)
Alan watches as Harvey gets unusual access to his dad's materials. (Mario Carlucci/CBC)
As Alan speaks to us, Harvey explores. (Mario Carlucci/CBC)
Boom. (Mario Carlucci)
Jessica and Alan get emotional when they talk about how much they mean to each other. Jessica says she's amazed at his strength, and she loves him more each day. (Mario Carlucci/CBC)

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