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Hartselle Enquirer

Morgan deputy fights ALS

Special to the Enquirer

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Chris Dillard has been diagnosed with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

ALS is considered a rare terminal illness that affects approximately 20,000 Americans each year and has no known cure. The disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that breaks down nerve cells, which reduces the functionality of the muscles they supply.

Dillard, one year from retirement, has been a career law enforcement professional. He has served the citizens of Morgan County and Alabama as an officer with the Decatur Police Department and the Hartselle Police Department, as a federal officer with the Tennessee Valley Authority and as police chief in Owens Crossroads and Somerville before joining the sheriff’s office.

He and his wife Rebecca live in Somerville and have two children, Austin and Alaina.

“To know Chris Dillard is to like him. He has the reputation of being an excellent officer and deputy but is an even better man,” Sheriff Ron Puckett said. “His calming sense and wise words are welcome in any conversation. However, it is his caring heart he shows for his team that stands out most.”

Dillard’s friends and colleagues have banded together to come to his aid and are raising money to benefit his family as he fights ALS.

“In the coming days and months, we will continue to be the team he needs to get him through the peaks and valleys of this disease,” the MCSO shared on Facebook. “Our goal is to meet the family’s needs before they have to ever ask.

“Our physical focus is to raise funds to cover the impending medical and travel costs as well as preparing for any modifications their home might eventually need, should this disease take its course.

“With an ALS diagnosis, life changes. There will be decisions to make, symptoms to manage, treatment options to evaluate and adjustments to almost every detail of the family’s daily routine.

“The Sheriff’s Office is grateful for the relationship we have with our community and the overwhelming support that is shown to us daily. We believe this continued support will help us be able to give the Dillard’s the fighting chance they need.”

Multiple fundraisers are being planned, and a GoFundMe called Dillard’s Warriors has been set up, with a goal of $10,000.