COMMUNITY RALLIES TO SUPPORT ONE OF ITS OWN.Byline: Amy Raisin Staff Writer
CASTAIC - Fifteen years as a sheriff's deputy has taught Andy Vaughan that communication is 90 percent of the job - a fact he rarely thought about until a degenerative brain disorder began robbing him of his speech.
In the eight months since Vaughan was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (ā'mīətrōf`ik, sklĭrō`sĭs) or motor neuron disease, - the fatal ailment ail·ment
A physical or mental disorder, especially a mild illness. also known as Lou Gehrig's disease Lou Geh·rig's disease
See amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. - the husband and father has switched from working as a patrol officer to a station duty for the Santa Clarita Valley The Santa Clarita Valley is the valley of the Santa Clara River in Southern California. It stretches through Los Angeles County and Ventura County. Its main population center is the city of Santa Clarita. The valley was part of the 48,612-acre (19,672. Sheriff's department.
``Deputies are control freaks, so losing control is hard,'' he said at his home Friday, forming each word slowly and with concentration. ``The worst part is when you talk to someone and they shake their head (yes), but they don't understand what you're saying.''
Only the voice is an indication anything is wrong with the 37-year-old law enforcement officer, who said he started noticing a speech slur in May.
It wasn't until August that Vaughan and his wife, Shelly, learned the unusual symptom was the onset of ALS Als (äls), Ger. Alsen, island, 121 sq mi (313 sq km), Sønderjylland co., S Denmark, in the Lille Bælt, separated from the mainland by the narrow Alensund. , a disease that often is fatal within five years of diagnosis.
``At first it was just about trying to get a grip, thinking, oh my gosh. We were just very concerned about the kids,'' Shelly said. ``But I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. how people make it through these things "These Things" is an EP by She Wants Revenge, released in 2005 by Perfect Kiss, a subsidiary of Geffen Records. Music Video
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2. without the Lord. He's been so visible from Day One.''
Daughter Sarah Chiurazzi, an 18-year-old college student and member of the sheriff's Explorer program
The Explorer program was the United States's first successful attempt to launch an artificial satellite. , said prayer has helped her family through a tough year but also has shown her how scary the future is for her 9-year-old brother, Austin.
``At night when I tuck him in he'll say his prayers. He starts with simple things like, 'Thank you, God, for not letting me get benched today and finishing my homework.'
``But then he gets kind of quiet and takes a breath, and he thanks God for his Daddy - `Please help my daddy feel better,''' she said, tears streaming down her face.
But the family's strength fortifies even the most difficult days, and Vaughan's colleagues and the community have come around to help, financially and emotionally.
That support continues at 8:30 a.m. today with a 5K run-walk on Valencia Boulevard and Citrus Street to raise money for Vaughan and Mike Johnson, a Santa Clarita Santa Clarita, city (1990 pop. 110,642), Los Angeles co., S Calif., suburb 30 mi (48 km) NW of downtown Los Angeles, on the Santa Clara River; inc. 1987. Situated in the Santa Clara valley and nearby canyons, Santa Clarita includes the former towns of Canyon Country, resident also living with ALS.
Sheriff Lee Baca and a crowd of about 2,000 are expected at the fund- raiser.
``I've been a part of these things for other people, but I never thought it would be (for) me,'' Vaughan said. ``The law enforcement community has been so supportive.''
Vaughan still lives his life to the fullest and hasn't let the disease affect his watchful eye, he said. Though in plainclothes plain·clothes or plain-clothes
Wearing civilian clothes while on duty to avoid being identified as police or security: a plainclothes detective. , his gun is strapped to his hip and a sheriff's patrol car sits outside.
For young Austin, growing up under his dad's watchful eye has made him feel protected, but he admits their roles in the family are changing.
``I help him to talk, like in the drive-through,'' he said. ``It's kind of weird, (but) I feel like my friends understand.''
A 5K run-walk will be held today, starting at 8:30 a.m. on Valencia Boulevard and Citrus Street, to raise money for Andy Vaughan and Mike Johnson, two Santa Clarita residents suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
(color) Sheriff's Deputy Andy Vaughan, 37, gets support from his wife, Shelly; daughter, Sarah, 18; and son, Austin, 9.
Shaun Dyer/Special to the Daily News
Box: The Facts (see text)