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.
On May 29, 2015, my husband Vincent told me he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Almost overnight, the great athlete that he was stopped running, and then walking. All the energy in his legs drained away. Then, on November 20, he too slipped away, just a few days after launching his foundation to fight ALS and provide support to families touched by the disease—he was only 43.
But you know what? Despite the absurdity of ALS, I think we were a family like any other, like yours even. We have three amazing daughters: one who’s passionate about horses, one who does judo, and one who’s a runner. We even adopted a dog! Amidst all the chaos that surrounded us, we chose to focus on the positive—and we succeeded.
Thanks to your donations, we received help from ALS Quebec. For example, Vincent was able to go to the girls’ activities with help from a caregiver paid for by the respite program, and our daughters had the chance to pursue their passions thanks to financial assistance from the youth program. This year will be our first Christmas without him. He’s left a huge void in our lives, but also a home filled with memories, laughter and, most of all, love. He passed on a tremendous legacy to our daughters and to the ALS community.
ALS robbed us of many things, but it will never take away the love we have for each other. Throughout his illness, Vincent was a wonderful father, partner and friend. Every morning, he would get up and say, “I’m going to have a great day today.” And he did! And we’ll continue to do so in his honour.
Surviving this kind of ordeal allowed us to see just how much we love and are loved, and that’s a wonderful thing.
Saint-Alfred, mother, former caregiver and
Co-founder of the Vincent Bourque Foundation
Your donation to ALS 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.