Valley mom inspired by her father to help families fighting ALS

While Allie Abbott soaks in the joy of parenthood, she can't help but think of how much she wishes her own dad was still here.
Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 8:14 AM MST|Updated: Dec. 15, 2022 at 9:05 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Life is good right now for Allie and Mike Abbott. Their days are filled with the laughter of their adorable toddler, who’s about to become big brother in just a few months. But while Allie soaks in the joy of parenthood, she can’t help but think of how much she wishes her own dad was still here.

“I just wish he could see me as a mom,” said Allie. “I wish he could see my family grow.”

Pat Madigan passed away 10 years ago from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also know as ALS. Allie was just 8 years old. Doctors said he had a three to five-year life expectancy after the diagnosis, but he lived another 15 years. He even made it to Allie’s high school and college graduations, although his body was getting very weak.

“That’s one of the hardest parts of ALS is that it was all his body ... his body just slowly disintegrating, but his mind was there the whole time,” Allie said. “He had such a great, brilliant mind, but he had no way to communicate toward the end.”

Allie says every day with her dad was a gift and now that he’s gone, she feels inspired to help others in the fight against ALS.

“And that’s one of the main reasons I wanted to get involved with the Muscular Dystrophy Association,” she said. “He was so active with so many different organizations.

“He did not live to see a cure, but I really truly believe that there is one out there that we’re on the cusp of at any moment.”

Tap/click here to donate to ALS research and care through the MDA.