Nathalie Provost's Story
By a Caregiver

For as long as Michel is here, I will be by his side. Forever.

Our world is suddenly torn apart by my husband Michel’s diagnosis of ALS. We know the disease intimately—it robbed my husband’s mother of her life 24 years prior. Will I make it through this trial with my husband and our three children? Will I be able to help him, support him, and love him through his fight? Will I have the strength and the courage to make sure our children keep living their lives? I am devastated by the thought that this disease will take him from me in little more than a few years. That the man I’ve shared my life with for the past 24 years will leave me too soon, too young, overcome by such a terrible disease. I feel terribly sad when I see elderly couples together because I know I’ll never grow old with my husband, my children will lose their father too soon, and our grandchildren will never know their grandfather.

But we still have hope in our hearts that we can continue to enjoy life for a long time to come. Michel has a tremendous and inspiring will to live. The children and I want to fully experience every moment of the rest of Michel’s life with him.

It’s been almost two years since the diagnosis, and I applaud his bravery, his determination, and his iron will, which no doubt help him to cope with the disease. While it’s not been easy for Michel to lose his strength and the use of his muscles, or lose his independence little by little and have to rely on others to take care of him, he’s taken the many changes in stride and adapted quite well.

As for me, I’ve taken to my new role as caregiver. It’s demanding, but the deep love I have for Michel gives me the strength and courage I need to be his hands and arms every single day. But there’s no way I could do it without the help of my children, my family and friends, and our amazing caregiver France.

For as long as Michel is here, I will be by his side. Forever.

Nathalie Provost