After dancing with her eldest son at his wedding, a woman with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is inspiring many.
Kathy Poirier, 55 years old, was diagnosed with the disease three years ago. Since then, she has lost the ability to use her arms and legs. She also has breathing difficulties but her voice is still heard.
Kathy has three children: Zak, a 28-year-old, and Nick and Jake, twins, both 27. Her firstborn was born to her long-term girlfriend of eight years.
Kathy was determined to stand at the special event.
“I was just so devastated that I wasn’t going to be able to dance with him. We talked about it, and I really wanted to make it happen,” she told The Epoch Times.
Kathy pictured Zak and Kathy having a special mother-son dance moment ahead of the big day.
“I was very worried the day of the wedding … it was very emotional, but I wouldn’t have done it any other way,” she said.
The moment was captured on camera by twins Jake & Nick. They helped their mom to dance with Zak while their friends watched. All three men were comforting her throughout, telling her, “We’ve got you Mom, don’t worry. We can do this.”
As they danced, Zak told his mother, “I love you.”
Kathy felt privileged to be part of this moment.
“I had a hard time keeping my tears at bay, but it felt great,” she recalled. “It felt liberating to get up and have a moment like that with my son at a milestone in his life. It was just beautiful.”
Valiant Weddings, Zak’s wedding planner, shared footage of the father-son dance on Instagram. It quickly went viral. But Kathy insists the video isn’t about her but a deeper cause.
“The video is about raising awareness of ALS because it’s so unforgiving. There’s not enough awareness. I’m very fortunate; I have family, I have money to spend on treatment. But it’s not just about me, it’s about all the people that are suffering from this disease that need help,” she said.
Kathy was an interior decorator and owned her own business when she was diagnosed with ALS in January 2019. Initial symptoms included weakness in her hands and numbness while she was working. She thought it was a pinched nerve. Further testing proved the contrary.
Kathy is optimistic despite her condition.
“I look at it as, I have two options: I can either accept the diagnosis and all that comes with it, or I can accept the diagnosis and fight it. I’m choosing to fight it. I love my life … but I want to live as long as I can,” she said.
Around 30,000 people are diagnosed with ALS every year in the United States, and 90 percent of those are considered “sporadic,” which means it could happen to anyone. Doctors believe that there is no cure for the disease and patients will live between two and five years after diagnosis.
Many people with ALS experience a loss of their ability to speak, chew, stand, and use their neck muscles.
Since Western medicine does not provide any answers, Kathy turned to holistic treatment to alleviate her symptoms. She has also made changes to her diet and practices meditation. She also attends frequency healing sessions, energy healing, acupuncture and a weekly frequency healing session.
Kathy’s twins moved back to their house to help care for her. Nick saw his mom lose faith during her diagnosis. But their Catholic faith has helped their family persevere through the trials.
“I think having that faith really helps in devastating times like this,” Nick said. “I pray every night to God that my mother will heal. My mother has chosen to try unique treatments. She is a warrior. She really cares about all of us in her life, and she’s willing to fight the fight for it, for everything. I want to be part of that miracle.”
In honor of his Kathy’s bravery and resilience, Nick gifted her a pearl necklace, which is also her birthstone.
“She is unshakable, not because she doesn’t know pain or failure, but because she always pushes through … she is just like a pearl, made from grit but full of grace,” he said, explaining its significance in his own words.
Kathy believes there’s a reason for everything she’s going through right now.
“I’m not expecting God to heal me overnight; what I think is that God is saying, ‘You are strong enough to handle this disease. Let’s use you to help others and inspire others,’” she said.
Learn more about Kathy’s inspiring story in the video below.
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