Thursday, July 10, 2008


This is Libby.
We went to high school and college together.
She was a Varsity cheerleader- track star--president of my sorority-you know, one of those people...that has it all?
she still does....just add to the list- ALS. Now, what she needs to add to it is...our help, both strangers and friends.
I have never known a faith like this- outside of The Bible.
This is an article in our local paper today-

Heroes among us: Libby Bebinger is living life to its fullest
by Courtney Burkholder, Thursday, 10 July 2008
Libby Bebinger lives a vibrant life despite having Lou Gerhrig's disease.
"I am healed by the stripes of Jesus!"
These are the words by which Libby Bebinger begins each day of her life. A lifelong Alamo Heights resident, Libby lives with her mother in the same house she grew up in on Harrison.
In many ways, she is a typical 37-year-old woman with many of the same pastimes that all women enjoy. Libby enjoys listening to music, watching TV, and reading (her favorite author is Francine Rivers); she has a strict exercise regimen that she completes each day and never misses her daily devotional.
She is a doting aunt to her nine nieces and nephews, never forgets a birthday, and she is an avid American Idol fan … her favorite being this year's runner-up David Archuleta.
But Libby is far from typical. Fourteen years ago, at age 23, after receiving her degree from Southwest Texas State University, Libby was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients can become totally paralyzed and the disease eventually leads to death. When Libby was first diagnosed with the disease, she was given three to five years to live.
Fourteen years later, Libby is still a strong, vibrant, opinionated woman who continues to amaze the doctors as well as her friends and family. Libby is unable to walk or talk. She cannot turn her head or lift her arms. She receives food through a feeding tube and requires twenty-four-hour care – yet she greets each day with optimism and purpose.
"She has a strength that comes through her faith," said long-time friend Kelly Aaron. "Faith like Libby's takes work. And because of her faith, life is meaningful."
And through her trials, Libby has remained the same upbeat, sparkling person that once got her elected to the cheerleading squad at Alamo Heights High School.
"Libby is very strong-willed!" Kelly said. "She's always ruled the turf and she still does. She's particular and opinionated. And if you don't get it right, she'll let you know!"
The loss of speech was especially difficult for an outgoing personality like Libby's. Libby received a state-of-the-art computer from the ALS Foundation last year that allows her to write and speak by using her eyes. She now has a lovely automated, female voice that she uses to communicate.
"She's a chatterbox," said her mother and primary caregiver, Sylvia Bebinger. "Now she never stops talking!" The house on Harrison is once again, filled with love, laughter and song.
Libby attributes her longevity to her faith, a strict nutritional regimen that includes vitamins, all organic food, and her attitude. "I'm stubborn!" she admits. "I have beaten all the odds and continue to fight this disease with the help of family and friends."
She also gives much credit to the wonderful team of caregivers that are required 24/7 for her care. "My mom is still my number-one caregiver," Libby said. "She is 81 years old and amazing!"
But around-the-clock help doesn't come cheaply and finances are their biggest problem. They are already maxing out on the amount of government assistance available. Over the years, friends and family have reached out by organizing fund-raisers to raise money for Libby's care, but as expected, those expenses continue to escalate.
Recently, Jefferson State Bank underwrote fundraising efforts, and a "Share the Care" fund was set up for friends and family to contribute to Libby's care.
Despite the difficulties that Libby faces each day, this amazing woman continues to be thankful for the life God has given to her.
"I am blessed," Libby says with a smile you can't miss in her eyes. "I am healed by the stripes of Jesus."
And Alamo Heights is blessed to have such a fine citizen in our neighborhood.
If you would like to help, there are a number of ways to contribute. Please contact Helen Mack at Jefferson State Bank for details, or mail a one-time check in the amount of your choosing to:
Libby Bebinger c/o Jefferson State Bank 6021 Broadway San Antonio, Texas 78209 Attn: Helen Mack Checks can be made payable to Libby Bebinger.

Libby is reading this blog, along with the rest of you-
I want you to know Lib, I am blessed to know you and your faith in my lifetime-
I want you to know the example you are setting for all of us is so very powerful-and By His Stripes we are all healed- and by your courage-we are all inspired.
Thank you God for Libby.
Grace and Peace,



Anonymous said...

Libby was the President of my pledge class at SWT. I am overjoyed to hear that her energy and attitude have not changed. Even though I left SWT after my Sophomore year, I learned of her story and have prayed for her ever since. Libby, I hope that you continue to live life to the fullest. You have no idea how many people you have touched.
ZTA Love,
Cathy Wilson

Anonymous said...

I went to SWT with Libby as well and know that she is a one-of-a-kind individual. I wish only great things for you, Libby, and will be praying for you. I'm still in SA and would love to help out if you have more fundraisers.
ZTA Love,
Vicki Markham Sills

The Journey said...

I would like to get in contact with Libby. I lost touch with her many years ago.

Traci Gotlieb said...

Libby has touched my life and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to know her. She truly is an amazing woman. Thanks Deb, for sharing her with me!