Carlos Botehlo’s Story

In a warrior’s heart there’s no surrender. Though his body yells stop! His spirit cries…NEVER!

I remember when I was first diagnosed with ALS, I was sure that it was a death sentence. I’ve never been more mistaken! Don’t get me wrong, it’s been hard losing my physical self-sufficiency and my passion for such things as making love, salsa dancing, serving my customers at my little shop in Ste. Rose and most of all…eating. Man, I loved eating! There was nothing better than spending 3 or 4 hours around the table with fabulous friends, a great meal and a few bottles of wine.

I always heard that when someone loses one of their senses, the others are heightened. Well, in a way the same is true with ALS. Although losing the ability to walk and speak was devestating I experienced a sort of awakening within, one of a spiritual nature that I can only describe in one word….breathtaking. This awakening made me appreciate and become moved by the most trivial things, but the truth of the matter is that nothing is trivial when you’re waiting to die. The feeling of sunlight on my face, listening to a song that transports you to a time in your past or the sound of a little child laughing while playing resonates as a sound of pure innocence and bliss. Even though it hasn’t been easy living with ALS for the past 9 years, my point I guess is that I have been living and though it hasn’t been the life that I wanted, it’s the life that I have and I am glad to have it.

In closing I would like to quote a song from the Rocky IV movie soundtrack; a quote that I’ve tried to live my life by­. ” In a warrior’s heart there’s no surrender. Though his body yells stop! His spirit cries…NEVER!

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