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Bachelor alum Sarah Trott is mourning the loss of her dad after a longtime battle with ALS.
The former Bachelor contestant, who briefly appeared on Matt James' season in January before leaving the show early, announced on Thursday, Oct. 21, that her dad, Thomas Trott, had died on Oct. 15. He was 60 years old.
"Where do I even begin with this guy?! What an incredible man and inspiration," she began an Instagram tribute. "I love you endlessly and miss you so much already. You hung up your jersey last Friday after a hard fight with ALS. Six years of extra innings and surpassing everyone's expectations both physically and mentally. My amazing dad, a true family man, my mentor, my inspiration and loving father. You fought so bravely. It was an absolute honor to know you for 25 years and to be your daughter. Thank you for showing us humor, dignity and courage in the hardest of times. Thank you for teaching me so many valuable life lessons about resiliency, attitude and kindness."
Sarah reflected on her father's struggle over the years with ALS, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or more commonly as Lou Gehrig's disease. It involves gradual weakness that results in patients' eventual inability to speak, chew, swallow, walk and breathe.
"You lost so much over the years to the cruel ways of ALS but you never allowed the disease to crush your positive spirit," Sarah wrote. "You refused to let ALS cripple your goofy personality, your wit and wisdom, and most importantly you never let it dim your faith in Jesus. In difficult moments when we would notice the disease progressing, you would tell us, 'Good thing I love a challenge' and 'I believe my purpose in life is to be an inspiration to others.'"
The 25-year-old reality star also fondly recalled another one of his signature sayings: "'The bar is open!' — so we never missed a chance to celebrate the big and small moments of life with you."
Sarah continued, "You were truly one of a kind. I'll love you forever."
During her time on the ABC reality show, she opened up about her father's disease with Matt. "Watching him trying to grapple with this disease as it progressed and not being able to express himself or to speak and losing the ability to talk and his voice changing over time—it was just, like, unimaginable," she told him. "I came home to San Diego and quit my job reporting and anchoring and TV news to be a caregiver for my dad."
As she shared with Matt, "To be honest, I wasn't sure if I should even, you know, be here. It was really hard to leave him...He wanted me to go out and to find love."
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