‘I will not quit until they find a cure for ALS’: Local man overcoming adversity, inspiring others


Greg Groce is not letting his disability slow him down. Often you can find him outside cooking on the grill or he might be hunting turkey and deer with friends. And when Groce is home, he is helping his wife Helen.

“My Mom never taught us how to sew,” Helen Groce said. “So Greg would always put my buttons on my shirt when they came off, and he still does that. So that’s why I keep him around, so he can sew my buttons on.”

Greg lives an active life, even though he has ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The disability slowly takes away your ability to talk, move, swallow and breathe.  

“My motto has always been ‘Have the grit, not to quit,’ and I will not quit until they find a cure for ALS,” Greg said.

And he hasn’t stopped, despite the fact his body is slowly turning against him.

“I don’t do it the way I used to do it, but I have learned to adapt and keep on keeping on,” Greg said.

Helen and Greg still walk in ALS fundraisers. COVID canceled a lot of the large walks, which is why Greg went back home. 

On Saturday, Greg, Helen, friends and the Yadkin County community hit the track at Forbush High School to raise money for the North Carolina chapter of the ALS Association. Helen said walking with folks you know makes the fundraiser even better.

“Now that we are walking on our own, you are out there walking with people that you know will have your back. They are going to be there if you call them and say ‘I need help.’ they are going to come,” Helen said.

And knowing that their work will help get ALS families the assistance they need gives them the positive energy to overcome.

“Just because they can’t walk, can’t talk or can’t move their hands or anything, there’s a way for you to live happily,” Greg said.  “You just got to put your mind to it.”

Donations to the North Carolina chapter of the ALS Association can be made on their site.

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