Cora Thornberry, 2018 Official Starter
About six years ago Cora suffered a head injury after being toppled off one of her horses. Although she
recovered she said everything seemed to change after that. Within a few years she began noticing
symptoms such as weakness in her arms and legs. About two and half years ago, after lots of testing and
doctor visits, she was diagnosed with ALS.
Armed with the strongest faith a person can muster, Cora decided early on that she’d fight this illness
with all she’s got and the power of prayer. She’s under the care of neurologist Elizabeth Sullivan at
Legacy Neurology in Little Rock. She started Radicava intravenous treatments in the fall of 2017. It’s the
first FDA-approved medication for ALS in the past 20 years and has shown in a clinical trial to slow
decline in the loss of physical function.
“When I first heard of Radicava they made it sound like it was going to be such a hassle,” she said. “But I
was able to get a port put in and (my daughter) Shaunda learned how to do my infusions at home. So I do those about
10 days out of the month. I feel very lucky to have the medication covered by insurance. It’s hard to tell
exactly how much it’s helped so far since I wouldn’t know otherwise but I do feel hopeful that it’s
With her husband Jerry retired he’s able to care for Cora during the day. They have a great network of family support,
which is imperative when living with ALS. They try to stay active and take out their camper when they
can which has a ramp for Cora. They know that our ALS Chapter is here for them whenever they need
us. They’ve had a walk team in the Walk to Defeat ALS for the past two years and Cora is very excited to
serve as this year’s Bike & Hike official starter.
“I really do appreciate everyone supporting this cause. It provides us hope and that means more than
you’ll ever know” she said.