The ALS Association

Throughout the years I have learned more and more from him

Angelica J. CMCH, New Jersey

My father was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, ALS. Nothing has ever impacted my life like that one frightening day. I was only in sixth grade when I found out. To a young child, the news was just simply horrible to hear. Sitting at Thomas Jefferson University with my family, three doctors walked in and explained to us the results of the test that my brother, my father and I all had taken. Everyone broke into tears. At that moment, I felt as if I had instantly became a caretaker for my whole family even though I was the youngest. I would have to help my dad just as he had helped me grow up and mature for the first twelve years of my life. As days passed by, all I could do was sit and think that my father only had about three months to live Every morning it became the same routine. I ran downstairs, praying he was still breathing and wake him up with a tap on the shoulder, “Good morning”, I always said. He slowly made his way to sit up. I put my arm under his tricep, and he placed his other hand on my wrist. “One, Two, Three,” he gets up, balances himself, and gives a sigh of relief. Everyday seems to be as if it’s his last, every “Goodnight” seems to be as if maybe the next morning, I may not hear from him. Although I feel as if the disease did weaken his body and even his mind in some ways, I know it strengthened me as a person, and as a daughter to him. Our relationship could possibly never be better. Since my father became uncapable of his daily routines of dong regular household work, my mother was constantly working trying to raise enough money to keep the bills paid, my brother and I had to take care of ourselves as well as the house and my father. It seemed to me that I have learned a lot in a short amount of time as to what to make for diner, and how to do laundry and other simply chores. On the other hand, I’m proud to say that my brother also turned into a hard worker, painting the house, raking the leaves in the fall, and shoveling snow in the winter. Both of my parents taught us how to be independent, living everyday as if it could be the last. I thought I was only going to the doctors for a short time, but the day ended up the complete opposite. Throughout the years I have learned more and more from him. My father has been there for me, through thick and thin. He is currently dealing with the loss of muscle in his legs, but he is able to get around. Taking it day by day, my father is one character dealing with his condition. He will always be my best friend, my life, my hero.

 
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