ALS is described as “a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord,” according to the ALS Association’s website.
“Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their demise. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, people may lose the ability to speak, eat, move and breathe. The motor nerves that are affected when you have ALS are the motor neurons that provide voluntary movements and muscle control,” reads the site.
ALS is a terminal illness. The life expectancy after diagnosis is two to five years. A patient diagnosed with ALS will find it progressively more difficult to swallow, talk, walk, move, and even breathe, according to the ALS Association website.
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Thurston Hasn’t Talked About Her Father Much on Reality Television or Social Media
Thurston hasn’t opened up about her family very much despite two stints on reality television. She has been particularly quiet when it comes to her personal life. As Life & Style points out, Thurston hasn’t even posted about her family members on social media.
Back when “The Bachelorette” was on Matt James’ season of “The Bachelor,” she opened up a little bit about losing her dad. It happened when she was having a conversation with Sarah Trott.
“I 100 percent encourage you to be with him. I understand that more than I would like to. I missed out on my goodbye to my dad. I would never want that for you,” Thurston said, without getting into too much detail. Thurston was comforting Trott when she was contemplating eliminating herself from “The Bachelor” because she missed her family — especially her father, who is battling ALS.
Thurston & Grippo Bonded Over Their Dads
Thurston did not open up about her father during her time on “The Bachelor,” but she did open up on her season of “The Bachelorette.” On the second episode of the show, she talked about her father during a one-on-one date with early frontrunner Greg Grippo.
Thurston and Grippo bonded over their dads on their date, which proved to be emotional for both of them. Thurston lost her dad when she was about 20-years-old, but Grippo lost his father almost three years ago. Thurston and Grippo went fishing and spent some time outdoors together, which reminded Thurston, in particular, of her dad.
During the June 14, 2021, episode of the show, Grippo shared that his father was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer and was given one month to live. Frank Grippo died on December 30, 2018.