June 12 - Les Bodnarchuk

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On day 12 of ALS Awareness Month, we are sharing Les Bodnarchuk’s Making it Possible story.

In November 2016 I started experiencing some loss of mobility in my right foot.  In August 2017 I was diagnosed with ALS.  Since then I have been attending the ALS Clinic at South Health.  The entire staff at the ALS Clinic are there with me every step of the way and provide tremendous support in helping with the changes.  As the disease progressed, I realize how fortunate I was to be supported by the ALS Society.  At each turn of events the ALS Society provided valuable pieces of equipment, advice, and emotional support.   This helped me maintain quality of life and allowed me to stay in my home with the help of my wife, Jean.

Last December, with the support of the ALS Clinic, the ALS Society of Alberta and the ALS Society staff in Ottawa, I was able to attend my daughter’s wedding in Ottawa.  As an added bonus, I was able to walk my daughter down the aisle and have the first dance.  Thank you everyone for helping create a beautiful memory.

Early on in this disease, I promised myself that I would not be bitter or angry.  I try not to look back on my life and activities. My world and capabilities are shrinking.  Facing each day brings challenges that are mentally and physically exhausting.  I chose to view my daily life through a positive lens.

This year for Betty’s Run, I chose ‘Making Lemonade’ as my team name.

There's an old adage that says, ’When life hands you lemons, make lemonade’.

It is a phrase that gets used and said without much depth or detail. If you do nothing, the lemons will dry up, shrink and go moldy.  Or you can open it up and squeeze every drop out of it.  For me, I could not do this myself.

I have been humbled to the core of my heart with support in helping me ‘make lemonade’.  

ALS is causing a moving target of physical and emotional needs.  It has taken a large village to provide the support and equipment required for me to make the most of each day.