As the holidays approach, we’re often inclined to look back on the past year. What were the highlights? What are we thankful for? What do we want for the coming year? We asked members of the ALS community to share their thoughts about the year drawing to a close. Living with ALS for almost two years, Carole Paquin shares the highlight of her year with us: a hot air balloon ride with her husband and her children.
In thinking about the past year, I can’t help think about the wonderful opportunity that my family and I had to go up in a hot air balloon, thanks to the Seize the Day* program, offered by the Tenaquip Foundation in collaboration with ALS Quebec.
It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but never thought too much about, because I told myself I’d have all the time in the world to cross it off my bucket list. But I had no idea that fate would decide otherwise: A year and a half ago, at 56, I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, an incurable neurodegenerative disease. When I was given the opportunity to fulfill this dream, you can bet that I jumped at it.
On the day of the flight, the weather was perfect. The sun was warm on our faces as my family and I slowly rose up into air.
Up in the sky, it was like time was standing still. For a moment, I forgot about ALS: I felt free, happy and grateful to be having this unforgettable experience with the people I love. I hope my children will remember it for a long time to come.
I also realized that I didn’t need hot air balloon rides to be happy. Happiness lives in the small things in life. And thanks to the support I receive from ALS Quebec, I can make the most of my life. For example, the financial support we received to install a ramp and an adapted shower has helped me to keep some of my independence.
When you give to ALS Quebec, you’re giving the gift of freedom and mobility. Thanks to your generosity, families like mine can live with ALS and continue to share memorable moments.
And for that, I thank you.
57, Laval, ALS patient.
Your donation to the ALS Society of Quebec will immediately provide families touched by ALS with:
- Assistive technology, e.g., the rental or loan of a wheelchair, an assistive communication device, or coverage of the monthly costs of a medical alert/monitoring service;
- Financial support to adapt their homes;
- Respite programs to give caregivers and ALS patients a breather;
- Psychosocial support and an information and referral service;
- Social activities to give them an opportunity to forge relationships with others;
- The hope that researchers will find a cure.
During this holiday season, make a donation to ALS Quebec and give twice as much support to families touched by ALS as your gift will be matched! All gifts received before December 31st, 2018 will be matched by The Tenaquip Foundation up until $50,000.
*In memory of its founder Kenneth Reed, The Tenaquip Foundation’s Seize the Day program aims to help people with ALS and their families create lasting memories.