In 2007 I took my mom to her dentist because she thought her wisdom tooth was making her speech slurred. Her dentist said it wasn't her tooth, but that I should take my mother to her primary physician because it might have been a stroke. That same day I drove her to her doctor who sent us to urgent care to get a full checkup. All her test turned out negative.
I was thrilled! No heart attack, no stroke, her lungs were healthy even though she was smoking a pack of cigarettes every day. All her blood tests were perfect as well. I never thought getting tested for everything and getting negative results could still be such bad news, but it was. Her slurred speech never went away, in fact it kept getting worst.
Finally, we were sent to a neurologist and a spinal tap was done. It was the worst day of my life when her doctor told me she has ALS disease. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that effects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Symptoms of ALS often include muscle weakness involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing, and breathing… all of which my mom experienced.
Her doctor told me there weren't any surgeries or any medication for this illness. She would continue to get worst until she could no longer breathe. At that moment I felt like I couldn't breathe, but I showed no emotion in front of my mom. I continued to think positively and remained strong for her. I was in denial. I told my entire family and our friends that she had a stroke and that she was getting better.
As months passed my family noticed she wasn't getting better and I eventually had to give them the bad news--she will never get better.
On April 3, 2009 my mom became my angel. She was my hero, my strength, my best friend… my everything. I didn't think I could live without her in my life. But my mom also taught me to believe in our Heavenly Father, and to know that one day we would be together again. So although she is not here physically, she will forever live in my heart, and that gives me the strength to live each day.
My mom was a great woman. She was funny. If you were in a room with her she would be the one in the center making everyone laugh. She was hard working. She worked two jobs as a single mother raising my sister and I while supporting her own siblings, and nieces and nephews in the Philippines. She was lovable. She had a heart as big as the World. She was the best chef I knew. We never had a party where our guest didn't leave without a full stomach. She was wise. She always taught me to follow my heart and choose what I feel is right. To always do my best, so that if all else fails I knew that I always did the best I could.
Since my mom was born on October 30th, 1948, every year in the month of October I've formed a group called "Remembering Paring" in memory of her birthday, and together we walk to help defeat ALS. I'm very fortunate to have such great support from friends and family who have joined me these past 4 years.
Let’s all continue to help Defeat ALS and support those who are going through the same journey my mom went through. Join my team and help donate! DEFEAT ALS! Together we can!
You will forever be in our hearts. "REMEMBERING PARING"
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
Every 90 minutes a person in this country is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes another person will lose their battle against this disease. ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries.
That’s why we’re participating in the Walk to Defeat ALS. To bring hope. To raise awareness. To provide resources and services to families free of charge. To help unlock the mystery of ALS and find the key to treatments a cure. Will you join us?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, fatal neuromuscular disease that slowly robs the body of its ability to walk, speak, swallow and breathe. The life expectancy of a person with ALS averages 2 to 5 years from the time of diagnosis.
ALS can strike anyone. Presently there is no known cause of the disease, yet it still costs loved ones an average of $250,000 a year to provide the care people living with ALS and their families need. Join the movement to provide help and hope today!