Luxury Home Specialist
Story by Ann Butenas | Sponsored Content
“Doing more from sale to sold” is the business philosophy by which award-winning Realtor Sharon G. Aubuchon of RE/MAX Premier Realty lives. As a real estate agent specializing in the luxury market, but also at all other price points, Sharon already has an important place within the Kansas City community. She doesn’t just help buyers and sellers in the metro area achieve success in each transaction; she also goes beyond the transaction to make invaluable connections within the community, one client at time.
“Your greatness is not what you have. It’s what you give.”
While Sharon definitely tends to her real estate business with unparalleled amounts of ambition and enthusiasm, what works the hardest in her business is her heart. Giving back to others is a lifestyle for her, and she has the innate ability to continually give to others no matter what she is doing, whether for clients, friends, family, or community. In other words, if you are going to partner with Sharon on any level in the real estate industry – or even personally – be prepared to be on the receiving end of countless acts of kindness.
Sharon met Scott Smith, a personal trainer and owner of BodySmith Personal Training, who was referred to her by a business associate. Sharon began working with Scott until the unthinkable happened. He was diagnosed with ALS. While this may have ended the training sessions for Sharon, it only deepened the friendship she made with Scott.
Scott was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) at age 39 in the Fall of 2020. It began with a slight slurring of his speech in the summer and later fasciculations were evident throughout his arms and chest. When the words “Sporadic Bulbar Onset ALS” fell upon their ears at the ALS Clinic at the University of Kansas Health System, Scott was given a two to five year prognosis. They were devastated.
“Scott has dedicated his life to being healthy and helping others achieve optimal health as well,” noted Jamie, Scott’s wife. “ALS was not on our radar, but through hours of research and consulting with some of the best neurologists in the country, we have found for the first time in the disease’s 150+ year history there is some hope.”
Scott has been blogging his experience with ALS since his diagnosis and has received tremendous praise for his gift of writing and ability to show equal parts vulnerability and inspiration. He also started a “Flex On ALS” campaign (flexonals.com) for ALS Awareness month that had people participating across the globe, raising thousands of dollars for the organization I AM ALS.
As the disease continues to progress, Scott’s speech is very slurred and his inability to swallow has led to the need for a feeding tube. As his body continues to grow weaker, he requires assistance with tasks of daily living. He wears a BiPAP machine at night to aid in his breathing. He is currently enrolled as one of 12 patients worldwide in a clinical research trial that has been regarded as one of the most promising trials for sporadic ALS.
left to right: Jamie Smith, Hope Smith, Iris Smith and Scott Smith
When Sharon gets involved, she is on full throttle.
“Sharon has been wonderful in supporting our family and the ALS community,” emphasized Jamie. “She has a large reach within the Kansas City community and has been using her resources to spread awareness about Scott and ALS. With her connections, she has been able to reach out to politicians to ask them to support bills that will help Scott and others with ALS access promising investigational ALS therapies before it’s too late.”
You can help, too.
There are numerous organizations in which one can become involved to support the ALS community and raise further awareness about this disease.
“I AM ALS is a patient-led advocacy group making major strides in ALS through research and legislation,” noted Jamie. “Also, the Healey Center at Mass General has been making major strides in ALS research, starting an innovative and fast-moving research trial for ALS called the Healey Platform Trial and is led by one of Scott’s neurologists in Boston. These are our top two organizations we ask people to donate to.”
Other support groups include Team Gleason, Augie’s Quest and ALS TDI, the latter for which Scott has worked and provided fundraising initiatives. The local Mid-America ALS Chapter has also been quite instrumental in supporting Scott and other patients. Scott was recently honored at the annual Joe McGuff Golf Classic, which featured hosts Tom Watson and George Brett, both of whom have been the staunchest of ALS advocates and whom the Smiths now consider friends.
“ALS is a devastating disease and affects patient, family and friends, but it cannot cripple love, shatter hope or destroy peace.”
“Currently, there are two bills the ALS community is pushing to be introduced to Congress: ACT for ALS, and the Promising Pathways ACT,” explained Jamie. “These bills will help provide access to promising ALS therapies to patients who do not have time to wait for the 10 year process of drug development and FDA approval. We are working on getting enough House and Senate co-sponsors for these bills so they can be introduced and passed in Congress this year.”
Jamie encourages people to write, call, speak with or email local representatives and senators, asking them to support the bills ACT for ALS and the Promising Pathways Act.
“You can also donate to organizations that are making large strides in advocacy and research,” she reflected. “The more people learn about it and discover it really is not that rare, the more people can join our fight in ending it.”