>Sabrina Parker the 16 year old girl died on Tuesday surrounded by family and close friends at her home after a year-long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”
Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 70. Sabrina — who was diagnosed at 15 — was the youngest patient to be treated for the disease at Duke University Hospital.
Sabrina inspired all those in her life because of her courage and resilience. ALS is probably one of the worst of all the diseases and to hear or see such a young person battle this evil with so much dignity is simply unbelievable.
Her grandfather Noland Parker said that Sabrina maintained a positive attitude and made the best of every moment.
“She enjoyed life the best she could, and we allowed her free reign on that … We didn’t try to hold her back because we were scared something might happen,” Noland said. “She liked her freedom and wanted to get up and go when she wanted to and not let machines or this disease hold her down.”
Noland and his wife Zelma became Sabrina’s legal guardians after her mother, Melissa Kay Parker, died from ALS at age 24. He said that they enjoyed watching Sabrina grow into a mature and respectful young woman.
“She was kind of quiet and she got along with everybody and she did everything that other kids were doing,” he said. “She played softball and liked to be around her friends, talking and texting on the phone; she liked listening to music.”
Sabrina’s funeral service will be held today.