Let’s push back the darkness of ALS and help Hugh Whelchel finish the work to which God has called him.
After experiencing symptoms of extreme fatigue and difficulty breathing for the last eighteen months, Hugh Whelchel was diagnosed in Spring 2020 with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). ALS is a nervous system disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function. In this disease, nerve cells break down, which reduces functionality in the muscles eventually leaving you paralyzed. The cause is unknown. Typical medication and therapy can reduce discomfort but usually does not slow down the progression of the disease. There is no cure.
People diagnosed with ALS typically have a life expectancy of two to five years. While some only live six months, others live twenty years. There is no way to know which group you will be in.
Hugh Whelchel is married to Leslie and has three children and two grandchildren. He’s currently serving in his twentieth year as an elder at McLean Presbyterian Church. Hugh is also the executive director of IFWE. Founded by Hugh in 2011, IFWE has reached millions around the globe with the life-changing message that your everyday work matters to God.
After working many years in the business sector, Hugh believed as a Christian there had to be more to his work than simply earning a paycheck to support his family and tithe to the church. After ten years of research (which became Hugh’s master’s thesis), he discovered core biblical truths that were missing in his understanding of his calling as a Christian—truths that have radically transformed his perspective of the biblical meaning of work, bringing joy and a deep sense of purpose. After launching IFWE, Hugh has spoken in numerous countries, including Indonesia, and written about these ideas in numerous books that have transformed the lives of Christians everywhere—most notably his foundational book, How Then Should We Work? Rediscovering the Biblical Doctrine of Work.
This diagnosis means that Hugh may be unable to complete his mission to equip others with a biblical understanding of work. His remaining projects include:
- Reweaving Shalom, a booklet which explains how the Old Testament idea of shalom is the purpose of all our work and why your work matters to God
- Faith, Work & Economics devotional
- Faith, Work & Economics Study Bible
- Book on building a biblically-based culture at your workplace
- Book on a biblical theology of wealth creation
In 2 Kings 20, we read about the Prophet Isaiah telling King Hezekiah that he is going to die from his sickness. King Hezekiah repents and God sends the prophet Isaiah back to give the king fifteen more years. Then something strange happens. Instead of instantly healing the king, Isaiah treats him with a mixture made from figs. We also see the same thing in Jesus’ ministry. Sometimes the sick are not healed immediately but only after treatment has been administered. This is what many of us have been praying for Hugh.
There are many examples of ALS patients who have maintained their current level of health or have improved with treatment outside the standard medical community. Success stories often include a mix of the following:
- Special diet
- Exercise and physical therapy
- Homeopathic treatments
Hugh and his family are currently facing mounting medical bills as he explores a variety of treatments and therapies to manage the disease and prolong his life. These costs are not covered by standard medical insurance.
Hugh is beloved by so many around the world. He has mentored and coached hundreds of people and is a true encourager at heart. We believe that God has more work for him to do to complete his calling, giving all glory and honor to his Savior.
Please consider a generous donation to help support his treatments so that Hugh can complete this vital work God has placed on his heart. The GoFundMe page is here.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to Hugh’s continued work through IFWE, you can do that here, just note that the gift is for “Hugh Whelchel Support.”
Thank you for reading and for your continued support of Hugh’s work and IFWE. May God richly bless you.