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January 29 2013

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Bob Reaman before he was hospitalized

On March 2, 2013 a benefit dance will be held at The Wingham Columbus Centre to help raise funds for The Reaman family.


On December 10th 2011, the family was faced

with a very difficult realization when father Bob Reaman was hospitalized for Lou Gherig’s disease (ALS) in Kitchener, Ontario.


ALS Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neuromuscular disease in which nerve cells die and leave voluntary muscles paralyzed. The number of new diagnoses of ALS is estimated to be between 2/100,000 every year.  Bulbar ALS destroys motor neurons in the corticobulbar area of the brainstem in the early stages of ALS.


The disease can affect both men and women, all ethnic groups, all socio-economic levels and can also

strike the young or very elderly. Less than 10% of cases are hereditary.



Bob and Donna Reaman


“Just over a year ago my husband Bob was still driving his truck in and out of the local grain elevators,

supporting our family," says Bob's wife, Donna Reaman. "Last fall, we knew he was sick, but the doctors could not put a finger on the cause, so

he continued to work. Then, on Tuesday December 6th, Bob pulled his truck into the lane way never to drive again."


By Saturday, Donna was on route with Bob and their daughter, to the emergency room, when he stopped

breathing and Reaman was air-lifted to a hospital in Kitchener and the next three weeks were touch and go.


In January, Bob Reaman was diagnosed with Bulbar (Lou Gehrig’s).  At that time, the family was told he

only had two months to live and would not make it to his 56th birthday, however, Reaman is a fighter who has never lost spirit despite the disease.


After spending nearly 10 months in the Grand River Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, Reaman has now been transferred Grand River’s sister facility Freeport Health Centre over two hours away from the family’s home in White Church.


"We think it is important to raise awareness about Bob’s illness and the effect it has had on the whole family to help not only him, but others in this situation,” adds Donna Reaman.  "Bob is on a ventilator 24/7, can no longer eat or speak on his own, and requires specialized care. He hasn’t been home in over a year and has only been out of the hospital once since his diagnosis."


The Reaman family, with five children - Stacey, Dwayne, Tim and Jamie - are very close and Bob Donna also now have four grandchildren, Justine [7], Mackenzie [5], Ashlyn [2] and Jayden [1].


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To help the Reaman family, a benefit dance has been organized to raise funds that will not only help the family cover medical costs, but also enable them to hire the specialized care and transport that Bob needs to have day trips outside of the hospital.


“This event is about a community coming together to support a family who is going through a hard time” says

event organizer Julie Pettapiece. “We are welcoming any donations for the family.”


The dance, that will be held at the Wingham Columbus Centre, starts at 9:00 p.m. and will feature the live band, 'Soul Drive' and a silent auction.


All proceeds will go directly to the family.


Tickets are being sold for $10 each and can be purchased through WSC Transport Inc. [519-418-8000 the company where Bob used to work] and also at The MetKor Group Inc.in Lucknow [Lisa Harper 1-855-264-2969], and from many other members of the community.


Anyone wanting to donate can do so at any CIBC branch to the Reaman Family Benefit in Trust (Transit ‐02652/11‐88739).


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