Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn shares that her mom Lindy has died one year after ALS diagnosis

·3 min read
Lindsey Vonn in a neutral sweater sitting next to her mother Lindy in a pink sweater
Lindsey Vonn and her mom Lindy Lund at the 'Thank You, Mom' campaign on October 28, 2013.Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for P&G Thank You, Mom
  • Lindsey Vonn announced on Instagram Saturday that her mom Lindy Lund passed away.

  • The Olympic gold medalist wrote that her mother died one year after being diagnosed with ALS.

  • Vonn also shared photos of her mom and called her "a shining light that will never fade."

Skier Lindsey Vonn announced that her mother, Lindy Lund, passed away from ALS on Thursday.

Vonn, 37, announced the news Saturday on Instagram while sharing photos of herself and her mother. In the caption, she wrote touching remarks and revealed their final moments together.

"My sweet mother Lindy has lost her battle with ALS. She passed away peacefully as I held her hand, exactly one year after her diagnosis," Vonn wrote. "I am so grateful for every moment I had with her but I am also thankful that she is no longer suffering and in peace. She was a shining light that will never fade and I will forever be inspired by her."

 

The Olympic gold medalist also shared the dedication from her memoir "Rise," highlighting her mother's positivity and perseverance. She encouraged fans to make donations to a GoFundMe for ALS research in her mother's name.

According to the website, money from the fundraiser will go to a nonprofit called The ALS Association National Office. The GoFundMe has raised $16,000 of its $25,000 goal as of Sunday.

"Mom, I hope I am one day as tough as you are," Vonn wrote on Instagram in a final message to her mom. "I hope I will approach every day with as much energy and optimism as you do. I hope I will one day raise my kids to be as incredible as you are. I love you."

A representative for Vonn also confirmed the news of Lund's death in a statement to People Saturday, adding that Vonn was "incredibly grateful for the time she spent with her since the diagnosis."

Lindsey Vonn looks at her mother Lindy while holding her skis
Lindsey Vonn and her mother Lindy Lund at the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup on January 18, 2015.Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images

ALS, which stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, according to the ALS Association, is a "progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord." Symptoms typically appear gradually and include progressive muscle weakness, fatigue, slurred speech, twitching, and difficulty with coordination.

The organization notes that most people who develop ALS are between 40 and 70, with an average survival time of two to five years. There is no known cure for the disease.

After New York Yankees great Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with the condition on his 36th birthday in 1939, ALS gained international recognition. The viral "Ice Bucket Challenge," a 2014 campaign created to raise funds for research, brought another wave of recognition to ALS.

On July 8, Vonn took to Instagram to mark the one-year anniversary of Lund's diagnosis. The Olympian shared that she was inspired by her mother's resilience after learning that her mother had a stroke while giving birth to her. Today reports that the stroke left her with minor paralysis in her left leg, causing her to walk with a limp. 

In June, Vonn gave an emotional speech about her mother during her induction to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame. Through tears, she thanked her mother for teaching her about strength and character.

"It's because of the example that my mother set that I was able to overcome whatever obstacle was thrown at me," she said. "Thank you, Mom."

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