TOMS RIVER – An Ocean County Sheriff’s Office detective is facing the fight of his life with the support of his family and many friends in law enforcement.
Detective Phil Sickinger, 39 was diagnosed in January 2020 with ALS. He has the support of his loving wife Diana and their daughters 4-year-old Harper and 8-year-old Olivia.
The officer was also found to be suffering from Lyme Disease and Mold Toxicity and was diagnosed after feeling extremely week. He suspected it might be Lyme disease and a test revealed it was not and his physician recommended he go to a rheumatologist.
He ended up going to two rheumatologists, an infectious disease doctor, two neurologists, endocrinologist and a neuromuscular doctor (at Robert Wood Johnson) before he was diagnosed me with ALS.
After seeing a Lyme literate doctor who a more intensive test for Lyme’s disease, he received the unfortunate news that had tested positive for that as well.
The detective’s symptoms began to change and his ability to do things physically became limited. Among the things he was not able to do as he had done before, included his job with the Sheriff’s Office and playing with his daughters. He had difficulty using his arms, writing and typing. He had to use a specially made recliner that elevated him out of his seat.
“I can’t really use my arms, can’t write, it’s hard to type, I have to use a walker to walk. In our house, we have a chairlift for me to get up the steps, I have a special recliner that lifts me up out of the seat, according to interview he did with WOBM radio.
The Sheriff’s Department and members of the community along with family and friends provided him support in making sure that chores he could no longer do were done and helping to be as comfortable as possible at home.
Some of his therapy is done inside his home while others are performed at treatment facilities.
The officer is getting accustomed to his special power chair that is helping become more mobile and independent.
Through another ALS family, he was able to get a wheelchair accessible van. While it requires some work, it has allowed him to travel more safely to his numerous doctors’ appointments.
The Sickinger home was also adapted to allow him to navigate around the house better.
Detective Sickinger and his family expressed gratitude for the donations and prayers they have received.