Widow of ALS victim turns her loss into awareness for deadly disease

Stacey Sager Image
Thursday, May 18, 2023
ALS widow finds silver lining in husband's death
Julia Krispeal, of Roslyn Heights, is continuing to put ALS on the map after her husband Sol passed away from the disease in August.

ROSLYN HEIGHTS, Long Island (WABC) -- For ALS Awareness Month, Eyewitness News meets one widow who is determined to be resilient and find the silver lining despite the loss of her husband.

Julia Krispeal, of Roslyn Heights, described what soon became the toughest fight her family would face.

Her husband, Sol, was so healthy that he barely ever had a cold. He had just turned 40 years old when he noticed a problem with his hand.

"In 2015 he started feeling symptoms. He would pick up a pen, it was very hard for him to grasp," Krispeal said. "He started feeling a lot of weakness."

It would take nine months before doctors diagnosed Sol with ALS, the rare but devastating illness that slowly destroys the body's ability to trigger muscles.

"It's a cruel disease, it's very cruel, it's probably the cruelest disease out there," Krispeal said.

Even more so, because their boys were only 1 and 3 years old at the time, eventually Sol could only communicate with them through his eyes, which generated computer messages.

"The only thing that's left intact is really your brain, so it's essentially as if you're living in a glass coffin," Krispeal said.

After more than six years, Sol passed away last August. Julia and her boys were tasked with starting over.

Krispeal's secret weapon was her fierce resolve as a caregiver. She got a real estate license and turns out, families making changes, relate to her.

She's closed 50 million in sales in her first three years.

Still, Krispeal's priority continues to be her sons and their emotional wellbeing. This weekend, she will take them to a special camp, where they'll get to meet and spend time with other kids who have lost a parent to ALS.

She will continue to put ALS on the map for Sol, by continuing to advocate for him.

Despite living with so much loss, she's remembering to embrace the wins.


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