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UtahValley 360 features Christopher Clark, a theater professor at UVU

Christopher Clark, a theater professor at UVU who may be recognized for his portrayal of the apostle Paul in the LDS Church's Bible Videos, is currently in his 15th year of teaching but his ALS diagnosis says he might only have 2-5 years left to live, according to an article from UtahValley 360.

Clark’s wife, Lisa Clark, said in the article that before the diagnosis, they already knew something was really wrong. “He looked at me and I looked at him, and we started crying. We both knew,” she told UtahValley 360. “The spirit was telling us to be ready. It was a tender mercy. Strangely, I had been praying that it would be cancer or MS or even Lyme disease. Anything but ALS. But in that moment, we knew.”

Even after hearing the crushing diagnosis, and later having to move to a wheelchair, Clark still teaches and is very involved in theater at UVU. “I still do most of the same things I did a year ago, but I have to think about how I am going to get in the building, or whether I can truly have two meetings back to back,” he said in the article. “Part of ALS is needing to sleep more, so I schedule in power naps. My goal is to stay productive. The more productive I am, the better I feel physically.”

The home front, however, has been more difficult for Clark as he has had to “say goodbye” to things like mowing the lawn or opening a certain door, according to the article. Their house now has a ramp for Clark’s wheelchair.

The article reported that last Christmas, Clark, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, didn’t want to finagle his wheelchair down the snow-covered ramp, so he stayed home from church. When his family showed up to church without him, a few members from their ward drove a truck to the Clark home and picked up Clark, who was still in his Christmas pajamas.

“Chris posted a picture of himself sitting in his wheelchair at church, with a suitcoat over his Christmas pajamas and this caption: “He hoped the people saw him in church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to remember, upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk, and blind men see. — Charles Dickens,” read the article.

Read the full article to see how Clark has managed to overcome the fear, anxiety and sadness of ALS.

bfacer@deseretdigital.com