Man living with ALS overcomes challenges of the disease with faith and painting

COVENTRY, R.I. (WLNE) – May is ‘ALS Awareness Month’, and there’s one man who’s showing us a whole different side to living with the disease.

ABC6 News Anchor Alana Cerrone introduces us to Bruce Raffensperger, the Rhode Island man who’s so inspiring, the local chapter of the ALS Association is honoring him with an award for his courage.

He was diagnosed with ALS in 2012. During an art activities class at his rehabilitation center, he was encouraged to try painting.

He doesn’t have use of his hands – so the instructor put the paintbrush in his mouth. He quickly fell in love with painting – especially birdhouses.

Raffensperger says he is constantly tired, and only has a certain amount of energy each day. He saves that energy for painting.

His unwavering faith has helped him maintain a sunny outlook on life – he credits God for giving him a positive attitude throughout his battle with ALS. He wants to encourage others living with the disease to do the same, and do what they love.

Raffensperger is being honored with the ‘Brian Dickinson Courage Award’ at this year’s ‘Evening of Hope’. Learn more about the event and the RI ALS Association here.

©WLNE-TV 2019