Imagine getting diagnosed with a fatal illness when you're 33 years old, have a 16-month-old toddler, and you and your husband are about to try for baby number two. That's what happened to Sarah Coglianese, who has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
ALS attacks the nerve cells, breaking down their ability to send signals to the muscles. As the disease progresses, patients become paralyzed until they can no longer swallow.
Coglianese first started to notice something was wrong when she began to stumble and fall. Meanwhile Scarlett, her daughter, was just starting to walk. "While my daughter's walking improved each week, mine, it seemed, was on an opposite trajectory," she writes in an essay for CNN.
That was three years ago. Now Coglianese is in a wheelchair, and needs help to eat or even breathe. But even though she isn't the mom she wanted to be, Scarlett has grown in unexpected ways. "By age 3, she was opening doors for me and helping with groceries," she writes. "These days she folds laundry and cleans her room with only the slightest bit of prodding. If my foot slips off my footrest, she nonchalantly walks over and plops it back in place."
"I was planning to be around for a long time to take care of her. But this is our reality, and I'm proud and impressed by everything she is doing to take care of me," she continues in her heartwarming essay. "I can see the type of person she is: fierce and brave and loving, empathetic beyond her years. I know that these qualities will only continue to grow as she gets older, that in some ways, she will be an even stronger person because of my disease."
Posted by Sarah Coglianese on Tuesday, October 14, 2014
via Daily Mail